Monday, September 10, 2012

He touches my heart….


Aiden had his first day of school today.  Another year of Preschool for my little man, he will love it and then will be primed and ready for Kindergarten next year.

Today he came home with this:

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A puzzle…with this note:

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Touching.  Truly warmed my heart.  And we did just what it said, we put it together and he told me about all the fun he had.  Thank you Ms. H, I adore it.

It was inspired by this book, which they read today:

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Great first day!!

Back to school!


“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”…..

I love this time of year….love the fresh start of back to school.  The possibilities are endless.  New teacher, clean slate, new friends, and my favorite part is all the new school supplies!  I am a sucker for new pens and pencils.  Oh, and a new day planner.

But I digress….

The boys were SO excited to start school this year.  Both of them have new (to their school) teachers…so even more newness. 

Jakob started last week….he had a fabulous week last week and was just as excited to go today. He is making new friends, and just adores his new teacher.  Pretty great start.

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Oh, and did I mention that he started school with a Mohawk??  When did I become the Mama of a kid with a Mohawk??  His choice.  He feels like such a rebel.  LOL

Aiden started today.  I was a little nervous for him, but the kid just ran right into class without a second thought.  Always surprises me.

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The best part of their first days of school was that Jason was able to be there for both!  Between deployments and trainings Jason has missed many a school event….but this time he was able to be there for BOTH of the boys.  Fabulous.  Meant the absolute world to them. And me.

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Wishing good things for both my boys and their new year.  And to you and your new students.  What is your favorite part of the kids going back to school?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Soccer Mama?

I have dreams of being a Hockey Mama….maybe unrealistic dreams since the boys have yet to go ice skating.  Peabody may kill me – or revoke my Canadian Citizenship. There isn’t a local place to take them.  I guess I need to do more research and just expect to drive a good distance to get them some ice time.  Worth it, right?

In the meantime, I am a Soccer Mama.  Jakob is playing with the YMCA this summer.  He is super excited and doing fantastic.  I thought he would be upset when they lost their first THREE games….but his understanding of sportsmanship has gotten better with age.  I remember when he tried soccer in GA and hated to lose or not score a goal….now he is able to shrug it off….even with a 7-0 score against his team.

Aiden really wants to play, but after much discussion we decided that he just wasn’t ready or able to process the team concept.  But next year, he will run the field.

This past weekend was fabulous.  Having his whole family, and extended family out on the sidelines cheering Jakob on was nothing short of awesome.  With Mom, Ron, Tim and Nicole visiting, Jakob had his own cheer squad out there.  He LOVED it.

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I guess I should be glad that he is having fun, learning teamwork, and that with soccer there is no 5am cold rink time.

There will be hockey in their future though….you can count on it!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


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This handsome man would be my brother….it was SO great to spend the week with him and his wife, Nicole.  I adore him.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Mama

I am a mama to a boy with special needs.  1st step is admitting it right?  Well, not really admitting it, but acknowledging it publicly.  I have known it and talked about it in my private life for a while now.  But here it is….to those who didn’t know or those who doubt it.  

He may not look it. There are no outward signs.  He looks like a happy, healthy 4 1/2 year old. And he IS. He is normal. Perfect, actually.  It takes him a little longer to process your instructions, he throws epic tantrums over things that may seem insignificant to you and I but for him are the end of the world, he doesn’t handle change well, he thrives on routine and familiarity, he is sensitive, he tries to play with others (is actually sometimes desperate to), and gets his feelings hurt when he can’t. 

Aiden has social developmental delays and Sensory Processing Disorder.

So when you see him, don’t judge him or I and the fact that he is still in pull-ups.  He’ll get there, there isn’t any rush. 

When he invades your personal space or cuts through a line, don’t think that I haven’t taught him manners. He doesn’t have the concept of space, how close he is, how far away he is, or that there is a line actually happening. Especially if he is on a mission to get somewhere.

If he doesn’t talk to you, don’t take it personally. He may actually not hear you depending on how focused on something he is.  Or if he yells at you to not talk to him, it may be that you disrupted his thoughts or that the noises around him are too much for him and you just added to it.  He doesn’t mean to do it, it is how he copes and we are working on the yelling.  It has decreased significantly, and will continue to get better. 

As a mother I am doing the best I can, what I believe is the best for my son.  There are too many people out there judging how others parent and quick to make assumptions.  It’s a good thing they don’t have a child with issues.

Aiden is a wonderful child. A very special soul.  He is mine for a reason and I know it.  

I love him. Wouldn’t change a thing.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

We have a sick pooch.  We pick her up today from the vet as she had to have surgery yesterday to remove a sock from her intestine (dumb dog).  Thank goodness she is ok.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Pudding Tarts

My dear friend, Jen, sent me a link to a contest.  The message said “you should do this”.  Yes, yes I should.  So here we are.  Girl Scout Cookie time.  Jen’s daughter is a Girl Scout, so I knew I would be getting my hands on all the cookies I could handle (and then some), but this contest was right up my alley.

Think outside the box.  Think about how you can take a Girl Scout cookie and turn it into something more.  The Girl Scouts have so many different kinds of cookies these days, so deciding which cookie to transform into something more delicious wasn’t an easy decision.  I couldn’t decide which to work with when ordering, so I ended up with four different kinds and a TON of ideas going crazy in my head.    After taste testing them all (such a “hard” task) it was clear which one I wanted to work with.  Since we just came from Georgia, birth place of the Girl Scouts, and the fact that Meyer Lemons were in season, I had no choice but to go with the Savannah Smiles.  Lemon, sweet, cookie, goodness.

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Look at these Meyer Lemons….how could I not?february2012 069

So here I have these delicious Meyer Lemons, buttery lemon cookies, oh and whipped cream.

I thought parfaits, cupcakes, lemon curd, but what I really wanted was something that was going to highlight all these flavors and textures.  The sweet and tart of the lemon needed to be brought out by the Savannah Smiles.  So…..I present to you, my submission for the Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest…..Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Pudding Tarts!

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Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Pudding Tarts

Makes 4 – 4 inch Tarts



1 box Girl Scout Savannah Smiles

1 tbsp Meyer Lemon Zest

2 tbsp Melted Butter

Preheat oven to 350 deg.

Put Savannah Smiles cookies in a food processor.  Pulse until cookies become crumbs.  Add crumbs to a medium size bowl, then add the Meyer Lemon Zest.  Pour melted butter into the cookie crumbs and using a fork blend together.  You will notice that the cookie crumbs will start to come together. Divide the cookie crumb mixture into four and press the mixture into four buttered mini tart pans.

Put the mini tart pans on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 8 minutes.  Let tart crusts cool completely before filling with the Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Pudding.



3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 1/2 cups whole milk

4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest

1/2 a Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped out

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice

2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. 
  2. Add the milk, egg yolks, zest, vanilla bean and salt and whisk until smooth. 
  3. Over medium heat cook mixture, stirring frequently and then constantly toward the end as it thickens.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in Meyer Lemon juice and butter. 
  5. Place a sieve over a bowl and pour the mixture through the strainer. 
  6. Let the pudding cool to room temperature, cover with saran wrap – pressing to the top of the pudding to prevent condensation or that dreaded “pudding skin”.
  7. Chill pudding in the fridge for at least three hours.
  8. When pudding is chilled and ready to serve the tarts, fill the cookie tart crusts with the Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Pudding. (you will have leftover pudding – feel free to grab a spoon and indulge!)
  9. Top the pudding with freshly whipped cream….trust me. You will want this.

I also decided to pull some Marionberries from the freezer and made a sauce to drizzle over the tarts… was awesome – but not necessary….the tarts are spectacular on their own.

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If you don’t have a daughter or neighborhood Girl Scout to purchase these delicious cookies to make these tarts, here is the link to find out where you can stock your pantry!  There is even an app for that! Public Cookie sales are from March 2nd – 18th.  Go out and support these great girls.

Here’s to hoping that they chose my recipe as a finalist….and then the eventual winner!




Monday, January 23, 2012

Apple “Pie” Oatmeal


Today is National Pie Day….so I should really be posting about this pie:

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But to be honest, the recipe needs a little tweaking before I share it with you. 

So, instead let me tell you about this Apple “Pie” Oatmeal. 

I rarely eat breakfast.  I know, Most Important Meal of the Day….blah blah blah.  I often find myself starving at 1pm realizing that I haven’t had anything in my belly all day.  Growls heard for miles.  So I decided that I need to make it easy, and quick, if I am going to give breakfast a go in the mornings.  On colder winter days, I really like something warm.  Cold cereal and milk on a WA rainy morning isn’t going to cut it.  And I don’t have time in the morning to make a hot delicious breakfast.  So I am taking a short cut.  I can pre-make this Apple Pie topping for my oatmeal, and then in the morning it just takes about 5 minutes to make some hot oatmeal.  I have time for this.  And it is so delicious…..and kinda healthy.  All that fiber from the apple and oatmeal.  I keep telling myself this…’s working. 

Apple “Pie” Oatmeal Topping

Makes enough for four servings


2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced small (I like G.Smith because they hold their crunch after cooking)

1 tbsp Butter

2 tbsp Brown Sugar

1 tbsp Cinnamon (depending on how much you like cinnamon)

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Melt the butter in a skillet.  When melted, add diced apple to the pan.  Let the apple “sweat” and soften a little (not too much).  Then add brown sugar and cinnamon, stir to combine.  Continue to cook the apples for about another 5 minutes to give the sugar a chance to caramelize a little.

Put the warm apple mixture into a heat proof container that can be sealed and put into the fridge.  Allow the mixture to cool before closing and refrigerated.

Use within 5 – 7 days.

It’s simple.  Cook up your oatmeal, either on the stove or in the microwave.  Take a 1/4 of the mixture and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, and top your hot oatmeal with it.  Delicious and good for you.  And I will admit, when I eat it it gives me an extra boost of energy…..and the neighbors don’t complain about the growling my stomach makes. 

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Well….happy National Pie Day!  Hope you are enjoying some yummy pie today!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday, and a happy new year!

This year I am trying to find the good in things, the good in everyday…..with “rainy season” kicking in in WA it is a good time to find the good in these gloomy days.  Today, for example, started with the most amazing sunrise.  I knew that it was scheduled to rain all day today, but waking up with that beautiful sunrise coming, walking Jakob to school while it got brighter and brighter, made me just smile. 

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It started to rain 10 minutes later and hasn’t stopped since, but this is a great day.