Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cookie Exchange

Take 14 women, 1008 cookies, a couple pots of coffee and some breakfast food, what do you get? One very yummy Christmas Cookie Exchange!

Yesterday morning I hosted my third cookie exchange for the neighborhood ladies, which I consider my good friends. By no means am I an expert at hosting the cookie exchange, but I have learned a couple of things over the years:

First of all, purchase an assortment of food handler gloves. With the cold and flu season every before us, everyone seems to appreciate the use of the gloves.

Secondly, encourage everyone to bring a separate container to bring cookies home it. Note, I have ziploc freezer bags on hand if needed.

Personally, I love to serve breakfast casseroles, fruit and an easy quick bread. This means all my preparation is done ahead of time. The casseroles smell great and they serve a large number of people.

Over the last couple of years questions arise about food allergies and recipe request. To these questions I have no great answers.

Here I am with friends just hanging out and enjoying the Christmas festivities.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Countdown

Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

In just two weeks Christmas will be here! How are your to-do lists coming? Every year I think I am going to be ahead of schedule, so I won't have to stress about all the activities that Christmas brings. I'm still not ahead of schedule but, I feel like I'm managing. Also, I'm enjoying all the outings, parties and concerts that are family is involved with.

I would have to say I'm 90% finished shopping, 50% done with baking, 0% of gifts wrapped, 95% done with the gifts I'm making, 100% decorated and the Christmas letter - up to my husband!! Can we get an amen for delegating!

This next week I do need to make three different dishes for three different parties and I'm hosting the neighborhood / friends Christmas cookie exchange this Saturday. Again, I'm taking it one day at a time. I will post about that a little later.

Here is a picture of a home featured in Better Homes & Gardens that was inspiring to me!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Use What You Have

I'm almost finished decorating for Christmas, thanks to my sister-in-law who has the gift of decorating! She came over the other night to help "tweak" my decorations. I told her to find things around the house and use them.

With difficult economic times, I'm trying to balance my love for decorating at Christmas time without spending extra money. So, I'm using what I have and trying to use things that can be used throughout the year. I have a number of red decorating accents in my home, so it is easy to decorate and add things for Christmas.

Here is one of my favorite things in my house. My old window! This window was weathered the old fashioned way, by staying in the outdoor elements for years. It came from my parents farm. Every season I just change the wreath around. My friend Laurie also did something special with her window that she can use all year long.

This crystal bowl was one of those wedding gifts that I received and I wasn't sure what to do with it. Well my sister-in-law said, "fill it with candy!" Notice that the bag of Hershey Kisses hasn't been opened. In our home, they wouldn't last if they were left open, and in sight.

The cupboard in our half bath has been empty for a long time. I just added some red and green covered books (not even Christmas related) and I rolled up some colored wash clothes and towels that I had.

Our fireplace mantle is almost finished. I have to put some fresh greens on top to fill in some spaces. Here I'm using a vase that is out all the time, just added some red berries. With the winter sign and "red" additions I will be able to use these things throughout winter, not just for the month of December.

The last thing I wanted to show you is my tree skirt. They can be expensive, so I found a round tablecloth, a few years ago, and I cut it down on the one side. It makes a great tree skirt for a little cost and a little work.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today is December 1st! So, we put up our new advent calendar. FYI I purchased it last year for $5 at the Pottery Barn Outlet. We have been trying to teach our girls about the true meaning of Christmas and I thought the advent calendar could point to Christ's birth.

My question is, if you have an advent calendar, do you put a small gift in it every day? And what types of mini gifts do you use? I haven't been on "top of things" so the girls got Hershey Kisses. I'm looking for some good ideas!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Growing Up

I had to be twelve to get my ears pierced. My younger sister was ten and now my oldest daughter got her ears pierced at the ripe old age of six!! She wanted to get them pierced so her Daddy and I decided that she was old enough. She was such a brave girl and she didn't cry. Thankfully Libby Lu does both ears at the same time. Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gift Giving

Over the past few days I have been taking things "easy" as my knee gets back to normal. Monday I started back to teaching, which I am very thankful is part time, so I can come home and "rest" during the afternoon hours.

One of my sweet neighbors found out that I had surgery so she volunteered to watch my youngest daughter for an afternoon! That is no easy task. It is just so wonderful to live in a neighborhood and have friends who can help you out in a pinch.

This makes me think of the morning I woke up and my "water broke" with my youngest daughter. We called upon our neighbors at 6:00 AM to take care of our oldest daughter. Again, so thankful for friends that can help out.

With this in mind, today I was able to drop off some homemade peach jam and a tray of frozen apple crisp to my neighbor who watched my daughter last week. It was great that I had these things on hand - with the mindset to use as a gift or for a time of need. Food always seems to make the perfect gift!

Monday, November 10, 2008


You know you are a Mom of two girls when all the band aids in the house are of Barbie! Here is a picture of my knee - can you believe this picture was takin just two days after surgery!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Saturday's Job

Last Saturday I defrosted and organized our garage freezer. I had been so busy cooking meals to freeze that I was running out of room because of all the ice build up. I don't think I defrosted it since we moved five years ago - yikes! But now look at how nice it looks and I had enough room to get all my meals in order.

I love having the prepared food around and it has especially come in handy this week. You see I had surgery on my knee yesterday. Thankfully it was minor and I'm recovering just fine. But it is so nice not to have to plan any meals for the next few days.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What is This?

One of the teachers that I work with has been telling me about this item. Some people think it is from the bottom of the ocean. Some think it is the newest Christmas decoration. Although these are good guesses, the answer is this is

ROMANESCO! You still might be confused about what this is - it is actually a vegetable! I did steam in for dinner and it taste pretty good. It is an Italian Cauliflower with a lime green color. If you ever see this at the store - buy one, break it apart, steam it and serve with a little salt & pepper. No need to add butter.

By the way, this wasn't purchased at the local grocery store. It was purchased from a local organic farm. One I'm going to look into next Spring.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apple Day

I had off the past two days from my teaching job and I returned to my summer ways of domesticity. Lets just say that I've been cooking up a storm. In my freezer I have 4 meals of sloppy joes, 3 meals of Whiskey chicken, 3 meals of chicken cordon bleu, 4 meals of seafood stuffed shells, and 12 pans of apple crisp.

Yesterday was spent with my friend, Jen. We had two bushels of apples between us and we went after then in full force. We made 22 pans of apple crisp and I canned 9 quarts of apple butter for the first time. Both of us thought it was a lot easier to tackle a big project with the help of a friend, especially when you are questioning the "why" behind what you are doing.

The majority of my recipes came from, Cooking Among Friends. A big batch cookbook, written by a couple of local gals who also happen to sell the tin foil pans by the case. I purchased a case of 500 six years ago, and I'm finally getting low. I did divide up the tins with some other women - they freeze well, stack well, cook in them then throw them in your recycling bin (for easy clean up!)

The other inspiration for a lot of my recipes (especially the apple butter) are from the website. She is great and so inspirational with her ministry of cooking and hospitality.

By the way, I'm not pregnant! I'm just sticking out my gut! I don't want to start the rumor mills!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pretty In Pink

When people do laundry some have a dark load, some a white load, some a load of towels and some a load of jeans. At our house we should have a load of pinks! My girls both love the color pink and it makes up the majority of their wardrobes.

The funny thing is that when my oldest daughter was born, my husband was adamant that she was not going to wear pink. That only lasted for a few days and now he is surrounded by pink. Funny how things like that turn around!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fantasy Girl!

Now that I got your attention, I want to clarify things! First of all this is a family blog, so don't worry!!

I just wanted to share with you one of my hobbies - that would be fantasy football. You see my sweet husband loves football and I have to admit that I have always enjoyed it! It is my favorite spectator sport. so, a few years ago (six to be exact), I remember carting around our newborn baby daughter to a fantasy football draft. I had no idea what to expect. We showed up late, grabbed some pizza and started drafting. I was so new to this I didn't have a list of top players, or any idea of who and how to draft. Now, six years later I have a little more idea of who is playing and it brings watching professional football to a whole new level.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Welcoming Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year! There is something about the cool crisp temperatures, beautiful colored leaves and the smell of apple crisp baking. I just love it! Today is one of those days when the temperature is in the upper 50'S with a light rain and it makes you want to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. So, that is exactly what I have been doing this afternoon.

Recently I have been reminded that we are humanBEINGS not humanDOINGS. So many times I place my own worth based on what I have gotten accomplished for the day - how many loads of laundry, food that has been prepared, cleaning, errands run, etc. Sometimes I just need to allow myself to be and not be so busy.

Here are a couple of pictures of my fall decorating to put you in the mood for welcoming in the fall weather.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blogging Hiatus

I know I have been MIA lately. Sorry about that! Some of it is just getting back into the groove of teaching and starting off the school year. Most recently it is because of my health. I have been struggling with a "bad knee" since May (actually for the last 19 years from a down hill skiing spill). Anyway, I've had a couple of X-rays and I'm now signed up for an MRI. It is amazing what some good drugs can do for you LOL. Plus, I now have a cold.

Okay - enough complaining about all my failing ailments (I'm starting to sound old). Hopefully I will be back on track real soon.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Grade

Two missing front teeth - what more can one say about the start of First Grade!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Recently my sister got me the Biggest Loser Workout video, let me just say, "it is an awesome workout!" I had sweat rolling off my nose. My youngest daughter even worked out with me, and commented that it was a great workout. She told one of my very slender neighbors, "You should do the Biggest Loser". Thankfully, my friend didn't take any offense to the comment.

In regards to exercise here is a great quote, "The difference between good and bad habits is that the reward for a bad habit is temporary and is often followed by negative consequences, and the reward for a good habit can be more long lasting and is often followed by positive results." Think about that one as you are debating between eating that extra brownie or working out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Grocery Game

I am trying to save money on groceries. This summer I had great plans of coming up with a food plan based on common food ingredients, so there would be less waste. I had good intentions, but that is all the further I got. So with the price of food rising (like everything else), I'm trying to go about saving money in a different way.

The other weekend there was a very interesting article in the paper, about saving money on food. The main point that I got from the article was don't go shopping based on NEED, but what is on SALE! Specifically look at what is on sale and use a coupon if you have it. THEN, at home base your meals on the food that you have at home.

This was my first attempt at purchasing items on sale (that I use) and then checking to see if I have a coupon. I did save money! My big thing is that I don't want to purchase items that I won't use (a big waste of money). My other plan is to track the sale target price. This will help to determine if I am getting a good deal or not.

One last thing to look at is the store brand price (depending upon if you are brand loyal or not), even with a sale and coupon the store brand for bread was on sale for a cheaper price than all the discounts for the name brand bread.

Please let me know how you save money on food!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Six Years Ago

Six years ago today I was in the hospital giving birth to my first baby. After 26 hours of labor (some spent at the mall, some watching the movie, "Zoolander" and a majority of the time laboring in the hospital), our daughter Kelsey Joy was born. What makes this date extra special is that she shares my birthday! It just makes August 20 twice as much fun. My Dad thinks we need two birthday cakes.

As we get older, Kelsey is on the brink of losing both of her two front teeth, just in time for first grade to start. I'm noticing my age, as I was recently told that I'm developing arthritis in my knee. However, I don't want to focus on the down side of aging, but rather the joys in life! My prayer is that I might grow old gracefully.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All Things Domestic

I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog to, "All Things Domestic"! This summer I have had so much fun doing domestic things - baking, sewing, gardening, canning, meal planning, quilting and knitting that I could just write about all these things. Too bad that I can't figure out a way to make money doing all these things - who knows what God will open up in the future! So now, I am energized and ready to teach high school students how to cook and prepare for living on there own.

Here are a couple of pictures of what I have been up to. My "retro" quilt and some of my recent canning. By the way, if anyone made my salsa from an earlier post - be aware the recipe is on the "hot" side.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Tomorrow will be two months since I wrote my post on "Summer Break" and all the things that I would like to accomplish this summer. Well I feel like I have done a pretty good job crossing things off my list - here is what I completed:
1. Finished the sewing project for the client!!!!!
2. Organized my photos.
3. Figured out preschool situation for my youngest daughter.
4. Painted the picture frame and the cradle
5. Read a couple of books
6. Did some knitting and sewing.

I'm continually working on the exercising! The two areas where I still need some work are with my meal project and scrapbooking.

However, I added some things - one being quilting and two being canning! I will post some pictures of what I have been up to with these new additions to my list.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Housekeeping 101

Recently I read the following comment, "A lazy Mom makes her kids' beds!" Think about that one for a little bit....

So, I have been working with my girls to clean their rooms, keep their beds made and clean up their toys. This seems like an endless job. Well, this morning my oldest daughter said to me, "Mom, I'll give you some money if you clean my room!" Where do they come up with these comments?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Apron Girls

I made my girls their own apron. They each picked out their own fabric. Both ended up being so cute. I also managed to make myself an apron. However, it is hard to get a picture of me in it. Hopefully soon I will be able to post one. Aprons are so popular right now and there are so many fun fabrics to choose from. If you haven't noticed I have been in a sewing mood this summer! My newest hobby is checking out all the fun fabrics! You will have to stay tuned to see what I post in the future.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Big Four

My baby is four today!! Happy Birthday my Sweetheart! She is so excited to be in a big booster seat. However, she is sad that she doesn't get warm milk in the morning anymore. We will be celebrating with some family and a yummy Costco Princess cake!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cradle Restoration

A little over a year ago, my parents gave me my doll cradle from when I was a little girl. My girls have been playing with it and it has been on my "to-do-list" to re-paint and cover the form. Well, I finally finished it! Also, I was inspired by some doll quilts that I saw on line, so I used some scrap fabric and made a doll quilt. Actually, I'm making two, one for each of my girls. I'm excited that they are able to play with some of my old toys. Hopefully some day they will be able to pass this cradle on to their children.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Sports

This summer I have been running my girls to swim lessons and soccer camp almost every day. I feel like I have entered into a new chapter of my life, SOCCER MOM!! Both girls are having a lot of fun and I think it is great that they are getting a taste of some different sports to try. However, I have mixed emotions about starting kids in organized sports at such a young age (will they get tired of the sport by the time they enter middle school, what about accidents like a torn ACL, and other concerns). For now we are just having fun and I'm thrilled the girls are learning how to swim.

Notice that my oldest daughter still wears pink - even when playing soccer!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A or B ?

I have mentioned before that I really like purses! So, for the last couple of years I have been making my own purses, either sewing or felting them. Last week I purchased some fabric and used some "scraps" that I had in my sewing room, to create two purses. I used the same fabrics, but I switched them up a little. So, now I need your help to let me know which one you like the best.

On another note, I have to share some of the funny things my girls have said and done recently.

Monday i was running errands with my girls and I had to use the bathroom at a couple of different stops (yes, I went before I left). Anyway my oldest daughter says, "Mom, I think you should only drink TWO cups a coffee in the morning!"

When talking with our next door neighbor, my youngest daughter says, "Mr. Mark, why do you have your shirt off?" (He was doing yard work and it was warm). He explained that he was working on his base tan before he went away on vacation. The next thing I knew Olivia started hiking up her shirt and she said, "I'm taking off my shirt too!" I had to put a stop to that one.

Last night I noticed some "dirt" on Olivia's blanket, I asked what it was. She said, "It's just probably some boogers!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Salsa Garden

Last week I mentioned about some domestic activity that is happening at our home. I have been inspired with all this jam sitting around to do some more canning this summer. The hard part is that living in suburbia, we don't have a garden. So, here is my pseudo-garden - three tomato plants and three different pepper plants. I'm excited to make salsa,using the recipe that I use to make with my girlfriends.

Here is the recipe for great salsa:
1 quart peeled & chopped tomatoes
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium chopped green pepper
4 hot chopped jalapeno peppers (according to your taste)
1 or 2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon each of oregano, cajon, pepper, cumin and cilantro

Cook until think 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Can for 30 minutes.

Just a little warning ,this process takes an entire evening. So, grab a couple of friends and a couple bags of tortilla chips!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

17 Pounds

No, that isn't the amount of weight I lost last week, but the amount of strawberries that my girls and I picked. I have been feeling rather domestic, so I made five batches of strawberry jam (along with the help of my girls). Wait until you see what next weeks domestic inspiration creates! Stay tuned!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Break

Summer break is officially here! Which means I am back to my full time job of being a wife and a Mom. My first year back to teaching, after eight years, brought both tears and satisfaction. I felt like I had my rookie year all over again and this time I had a husband and girls that I also needed to balance, along with my teaching schedule. I realize that I am blessed to have this part-time teaching position that seems to work around my schedule with young children.

My husband and I did have a mini get-away last weekend, an overnight in Detroit, minus the girls. We spent some quality time shopping and going to a Tigers game. Note we were able to go up to the counter and purchase tickets 1/2 an hour before the game, since they aren't playing that great this year.

So, now we are into the swing of things and I have my summer-to-do list all ready to go.I am wired to get things done and it is frustrating / stressful for me when things are hanging over me. So, I am one who likes to cross things off the list and feel that sense of accomplishment. Hopefully the more I get accomplished this summer, the easier fall will be when school starts again. I'm also trying to balance out the list with some fun things!

This far I have accomplished these things on my list:
1. Organized the girls clothes.
2. Switched health care providers.
3. Updated Insurance policy.
4. Organized M.Bedroom closet
5. Delivered clothes / household items to be donated.

Still to do list:
1. Finish sewing project for a client.
2. Organize photos.
3. Figure out preschool / daycare for my youngest daughter.
4. Exercise (okay - lose weight)!
5. Organize my sewing room.
6. Paint picture frame.
7. Paint girls play cradle.
8. Read.
9. Work on a meal plan project.
10. Knit & Sew!
11. Scrapbook!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June 10, 1988

Yes - I wrote the correct date! 20 years ago today I graduated from high school. I can't believe it has been 20 years, in fact, it just hit me earlier today. For some reason, I thought it had been 19 years. Must be a sign of old age! The amazing thing is that my parents, my sister and myself all graduated from high school on June 10 (just different years). How cool is that?! Go Central Columbia Class of '88!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Graduate

Schools out for summer! I will be posting my summer to do list next week! Here is my oldest at her kindergarten graduation! The last song the class sang was "Kin-der-gar-ten" and it summed up the year with a bang, "time to go to 1st grade!"

Thursday, May 29, 2008


My new furniture came about three weeks, but I have been waiting to post the pictures because I got my New Orleans Street scene picture re-matted and framed. Notice how nicely it looks with the black bench from Marshalls! (Earlier post). For those of you who were waiting to see if I went with the red couch - I got a little nervous, so I settled for two red chairs. It works for us!

Did anyone see my coffee table centerpiece? My knitting projects! Book club met at my home the other night and we read, "The Friday Night Knitting Club" so I thought the knitting needles and yarn would be appropriate.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Commercial Break

Just wanted to post a picture of a great find of PJ's - found at the local Target Store. Notice I did not say Victoria Secret! I probably spent 1/3 the price on these comfy (and cute) capris and cami, compared to something similar at Vicki's. Got to love Target!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Garage Sale?

I think I live in the garage sale capital of the world! This is not always a good thing, especially if you are driving through a neighborhood and you are following a vehicle that suddenly stops to check out the goods for sale. Thankfully I haven't needed to report any accidents, but garage sales can be dangerous.

Anyway, I'm just not sure if garage sales are worth it. Yes, I must admit that I have had my share of garage sales in the past, but I haven't been very successful at finding the good deals. It seems like most people who get the great finds go regularly and they check all the sales out. Currently, I don't have the time to do that. Plus I would be taking two little girls who happen to want every toy that is for sale. The limited time and the girls make a bad combination.

Recently I have been driving through my share of neighborhood garage sales, looking for a specific item - a black bench for our living room. Of course I couldn't find one. However, I did happen to get a great deal on a bench at Marshall's. I will be sure to post a picture soon. So, what is your thought on garage sales? Any advice would be great, since it seems like they are here to stay in our area.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Yesterday was special. Yes, it had a lot to do with the fact that it was Mother's Day and my girls and husband treated me like a queen, but it was more than was just knowing that I am so blessed and loved.

I know for many people that Mother's Day can be bitter-sweet, especially if they have lost a Mother, or have struggled with infertility, singleness, loss of a child, etc. For me it was a reminder to hug my girls a little tighter and appreciate the blessing that my husband is to me. My sweet husband stood outside in the pouring down rain and grilled chicken for our Mother's Day meal.

The pictures show the flowers that were given to me. The red roses are beautiful, picked out from my girls (because they know red is my favorite color). But, I'm just as excited about the card of flowers that my oldest daughter made me. Nothing melts a Mom's heart more than the sweetness of a child's homemade card.

I hope yesterday was special for you! I hope you felt loved and blessed by others!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The "P" Word

In our family the "P" word is patience! This is so important especially in a family with young children. We like to affectionately just call it the "P" word. Our girls know it and they like to use it.

Recently I was complaining that our new furniture wasn't going to arrive for a few more days. My daughter said to me, "Mommy you just need to have some of the "P" Word!" Then, I was driving to a bridal shower, we were running late and I wasn't sure what the driver was doing in front of me. Again, I was reminded, "Mom, just have the "P" word!"

Ouch! God seems to use our little ones to refine us and teach us HIS lessons for our life. I think my girls have been learning the "P Lesson"!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Part Three

I have sparked some interest with the "Singapore Bound" comment. So, I hope you enjoy today's blog. First of all, I am not traveling to Singapore, at least anytime soon. However, I do want to share with you, someone who is in Singapore. You see my very, dearest friend packed up her home and moved with her three young children and husband to Singapore. What an opportunity for them - thanks to her husband's job! I can't quite imagine what it must be like to move more than halfway around the world, I know some people who struggle to "move across town".

Anyway, I have been after my friend to start a blog. I have been telling her it would be so much easier for her to communicate with all of her family & friends. So, she has tried it and I must say she is a great writer! I would like all of you to check our her blog here

I did look into flying for a little visit and this is what I found. I could purchase and economy / discount round trip flight from our local airport to Singapore for a cost of $866 to $1250. The amazing thing is the time it takes to fly, if I left here at 1:28 PM - Friday afternoon, I would arrive in Singapore on Sunday at 1:45 AM. I will keep you posted in case I happen to book a flight across the sea!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Part Two

Panera Bread › Menu & Nutrition › Bagels & Spreads

Here is the second part of my series! Panera Bread!! I just love their bagels, especially the Asiago go cheese - They are great especially for a sandwich.

The other thing that I love about Panera is the cost. I can pick up my girls for lunch and head to Panera - all three of us get a bagel, split a small cream cheese (my Dutch blood that I married into is coming out)and we have a great lunch!

Also, when purchasing large quantities of bagels, be sure to ask for the freezer bags - makes it so much easier to keep those yummy treats fresh.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Part One

Here is the first part of my three part series on what I want to write about.

I wanted to do a re-cap of our Spring Break trip. First of all I wanted to report that our trip was not spent at one of those warm locations where you can feel the sand under your toes. Hopefully that will be next year - thanks to the government's spending incentive money!!

Our first real location was visiting dear friends of ours in Richmond, Virginia. Well it was a little warmer there compared to Michigan. We just had a lot of fun hanging out, going to the "Bizarre Bizarre" and sending the guys out with the kids for a swim at the local YMCA. Here is a picture of Taylor - he is now 6'2" and still growing. It wasn't that long ago that he was the ring bearer for our wedding. Now look at him! Did I mention I use to change his diapers?

The next stop on our vacation was visiting my sister and her family in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The kids had a great time with their cousins and thanks to my sister they enjoyed an afternoon tea party!

The end of our trip was visiting my parents in Bloomsburg, a small college town in Pennsylvania. My parents have some "additional property" (80 acres on a beautiful mountain setting) that is just breath taking. They have a small cabin there and we just like to go and hang out there, flying kites, roasting marsh mellows, and checking out the hunting stands. The girls are with their Poppie - looking out for deer and other animals.