Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Free Ice Cream & a Lizard

Yesterday was Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's. How great is that? Brian, Sean, Colin & I met up with our friends Ms. Kellie and Leighton at our local scoop shop. With all the yummy ice cream selections in front of them, Brian & Sean chose chocolate -boring! I opted for the ever popular Cherry Garcia - yum!

As you can see, I made a tactical error by not getting the boys' ice cream in a waffle cone for $1 more. Leighton stayed nice and neat, and well, you can see what happened!

Loving our free ice cream

Even Colin enjoyed his vanilla cone. Note the ice cream on top of his head from when he placed his cone upside down up there.

Now after ingesting all of that ice cream, we mommies decided that we needed to walk it off. We went to a local nature park and the kids ran around the boardwalk, and looked for insects and animals.
Here's Leighton and Colin on a bench in the defunct butterfly garden.

Please, let us out!

Due to the noise level provided by our children, not many animals or birds were enthused about coming out to see us. However we did see this lizard resting on a sign.

Ahh, what Old Florida must have looked like.

This was just a lovely shot of Spanish Moss hanging off a tree that our kids were running under.
As you can see, it was a fun day of ice cream and exploring - what more could little boys ask for?

Rocked to my core

Find 22 mintes. Watch this amazing video. Pray for this family. I'm moved beyond words right now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Feast of St. George

Last year, one of my New Year's resolutions was to bring the liturgical year alive in our home. As sometimes happens, I really didn't follow through consistently in this goal. Thanks to a new blog, Catholic Cuisine, I can now be reminded inspired to celebrate the different feast days.

And what a great way to start here in my house full of testosterone. St. George was definitely a boy's saint. My boys were already familiar with St. George from reading our Alphabet of Catholic Saints, where he is the featured saint for the letter "G". Today we talked a little bit more about who St. George was, and what he represents. We also made St. George Cupcakes in his honor. We had a lot of fun making (and especially eating!) our cupcakes today.

Bate, bate, mix, mix, mix!

"Carefully" filling the cupcakes

Spreading the icing

Say, "St. George!"

The finished product.

I just love eating the "fruits" of my big brothers' work!

Monday, April 21, 2008

How perfectly timely

Cruising over to Life in a Nutshell, I say that Megan had created her own slogan. Being the crazy copycat that I am, I thought I'd give it a try myself.

Your Slogan Should Be

Cindy. It's What's for Dinner.

Um, did they read my post from yesterday?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

One small step for man...

one giant leap for Brian-kind!

Last night, after getting frustrated with the lack of eating going on, Chris decided to ask Brian what he would like to eat for dinner. Brian said he would like white mushrooms, white rice, and brown chicken. So hey, we decided to give it a try.

Brian helped me make dinner tonight. We cut the mushrooms into quarters - left them raw since they wouldn't be "white" if we cooked them! He helped me squeeze the rice and put it in the microwave. And most importantly, he helped me make the "brown" chicken. We deciphered that "brown" chicken meant chicken nuggets/strips. We made our own using a Shake-n-Bake Extra Crispy package. I coated them in the egg and put them in the Ziploc bag and Brian helped me do the shaking. He told me that it smelled really good as it was baking.

So, the big question is: did he actually eat any of his special meal? Yes, why yes he did! There was no white rice or white mushroom consumption (he told me he forgot and would like to have them uncut!), but he ate almost the entire chicken breast!

Here he is learning how to use his knife. It was a bit frustrating, so Chris and I let him hold the fork in the meat and we did the cutting. But miracles of miracles, he ate!
Stay tuned for tomorrow nights experiment: Sean's special meal. All I know is he wants Dora chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese and mushrooms! Looks like Chris and I are going to be eating some great meals! But if it starts an eating pattern with these guys, I'm willing to suck it up for awhile. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 18, 2008

We Interrupt This Vacation Recap...

To present our pool! Last night Chris and I broke in the hot tub last night. But this afternoon it was the BIG EVENT - everyone got to go in the pool!

Anticipation is makin' me wait...

At the ready.

Quit taking pictures already and let us in!

He's opening the gate!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pla like Spa

That was how our D.J. introduced Terri at our wedding reception - Chris' and mine, not Terri and I! When I met Chris and started falling in love, I knew I needed to introduce him to Terri and Tony. Terri is one of those friends who just won't let you do anything, wear anything, say anything that will be bad for you. She's that unique friend who isn't afraid to tell you the truth - but she does it in such a nice way. She's also the funniest person I know. Truly, she could be on Saturday Night Live or be a stand-up. She has a way of telling a story that just can have you rolling on the ground. But I digress.

Somehow we were able to get together with the Pla family on our whirlwind VA trip. Now of course our schedules were so busy when we lived 10 miles from each other that we could never get together. But, move 1000 miles away, and somehow we manage to work it out!

We met at California Tortilla for dinner on Wednesday. The kids managed to shovel their food down and then went outside to run around. I'm sure some people were amazed at the din that arose in the patio between California Tortilla and Moby Dick's, but our kids were having a ball. There was lots of laughing, running and just having fun. We stayed longer than we intended, but we were all having such a good time that we didn't want it to end. We're looking forward to the Plas coming to our house for a quick visit this summer on their annual Florida trip.

Special Times with Special Girls

One of the key visits we had during our time in VA was with the Foss family. Through the years that we have known the Fosses, our families have grown very close. I was very sad to be leaving my friend Elizabeth and all of her wonderful children (oh yeah, and Mike too!).

Due to illness beyond our control, I was only able to sit down with Elizabeth for about 15 minutes - which actually reminded me of when I lived only a couple of blocks from her as well! Most of the Foss kids were down for the count with varying degrees of the "yuck". However, Mary Beth, Katie, and Gracie, who by sheer amount of time spent at the Foss house is an honorary Foss, were healthy and we were able to play with them. Not a day went by while we were up there that these three wonderful little girls came over to play with my boys. It was a very special time for me to watch them playing together, and spend some time talking with Mary Beth - what a little mother she is! When we left, Katie told me she was going to come live with us in Florida - anytime little miss, anytime!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One is silver and the other gold

I just remember the song I used to sing when I was a Brownie...

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold.

Tuesday was what I'm dubbing "old friend" day. The morning began with another play date with the Foss girls and Gracie. And I got to spend some time catching up with my friend Jen. Jen is a dear friend whom I met at church and we have become very close over the years. I remember seeing her at church before we became friends and thinking how sweet and just plain nice she seemed and how I would love to be her friend. Well, God works in mysterious ways as we know, and now we share a bond that time and distance won't sever. We enjoyed our morning together immensely.

To digress: Trish, Kary, Daniella and I (or the Fabulous Four as I like to call us), used to host a Girls' Night dinner at our homes (rotating homes) each week. Not only did we do it every week, we actually made a meal - and we were all working at the time! Of course this practice of a weekly dinner turned into monthly, then quarterly, etc. as we all got married, and then started having children. But, we are all still close friends to this day.

Back before we left for Florida, my friends Kary, Trish and I along with all of our kids (and Chris as well!) got together at a petting farm for one last get together with our kids. It was a great time, and I have really missed my dear friends. The rest of my day on Tuesday was spent between Kary and Trish's homes. We went to Kary's house around lunchtime and spent the afternoon there. Campbell was at school for part of the time, but we had a great time with Audrey, and once Campbell got home, more fun ensued. Kary and I sat on the couch and just gabbed away - well, between being interrupted by our kids! We were sorry our time together had to end.

Next up, I got to hang out in rush hour traffic on I-495 and the Dulles Toll Road. Check those off the list! I "hustled" the boys over to Trish's new house for dinner - or as much as one can hustle in Maryland/Northern VA traffic! Trish made "Cindy's Dish" for dinner. She has named it for me since I made it for one of our Girls' Night Dinners many years ago. Basically it's a salmon, asparagus pasta dish - and REALLY yummy to boot! My boys had a great time playing with Alec and Caleb, Trish's boys. And Trish and I had a glass of wine, waxed on about life, love and God, and kept the boys up way too late. And as Trish told me, God always has a way of reminding us that he's in charge (wink, wink).

Fun with Old Neighbors

First stop on our trip north was to see our old neighbors - the Sessoms, and Richards. After rolling in on Sunday afternoon, we had a nice dinner with the Sessoms in their "new" house. The kids had a great time playing together, and the adults enjoyed seeing each other again. Of course Chris and Phil got into political discussions - as they are wont to do! Chris' favorite memory of meeting Phil is when we went to a block party the night we moved into our new house and Phil was wearing a Young Republicans shirt - he knew they would be fast friends! Kelly and I caught up on our lives and enjoyed a glass of wine together.

Monday saw Chris heading off to work. And I began my whirlwind dance of visiting people. The day started with a quick trip to our local Starbucks - they really missed seeing me there since I have a very distinctive drink! Next we headed to our former next door neighbor, Stephanie's town house and got caught up in about an hour. Back to Mary Chris' house for a play date with Katie & Mary Beth Foss and Gracie. Out the door for an hour "teatime" with my friend (and Stampin' Up! buddy) Tara. Quick drive through McDonald's to throw some food at the small people and then off to our old next door neighbor's house - the Richards - for some playtime with Tyler. I spent some time catching up with Mark while the boys played together. Brian really misses Tyler - they were good buddies. Then on to meet up with Chris at the house and go together to meet David and Lala at Picante (my favorite Mexican restaurant) and finally home at 8:15 pm. I did mention that I ran my kinds into the ground, didn't I?

Here's slide show of our time with our former neighbors. Stay tuned for more updates and pictures coming soon.

Home again, home again, lickety split!

Well, after 10 long days on the road, we are finally back home. We had a great trip, saw lots of friends, went to my college reunion, and wore the kids out. Big post coming later on the details. For now, here's some traveling pics for your viewing pleasure!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Not sure how I feel about this

I'm not sure whether to be proud, or ashamed of this. Either way, thanks Michelle for the fun!


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Weekend activity

While I'm composing my thoughts on the amazing weekend I just spent on retreat, take a moment to check out what Brian, Sean & Colin got to do with their daddy. Thanks for all of your prayers for my boys - I knew they would have a great time together.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Anyone recognize this tune?

Give thanks to the risen Lord,
Give praise to His name!"

song lyrics courtesy of Brian