Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Wedding, a Race, and Donuts

We have done some fun things this Fall, including a close friend's wedding, going to the Chicago Marathon, and making donuts for school. I'll tell you all about it!

Let's just say, Trader Joe's chocolate frozen bon-bons were a hit!! They are awesome, and if you live by a Trader Joe's, you must try them. We are moving away from this amazing chain, and I might have to stock up on these!!

Someone enjoyed them!!
Maddy looking all grown up at the playground.

For the letter "D" for school, we made Donuts, and had a blast!! I'm telling you, I was skeptical about how these would turn out, but they were delightful, to use a "D" word!! We made them for Daddy, and a guy at our church who helps lead the Children's Ministry at our church, David!! We hope they liked them!! We sure did!!
Having fun cutting out the donut dough.

The Chicago Marathon was October 10 this year in Chicago. They run 26.2 miles throughout lots of different parts of Chicago, and they actually run right by our apartment building. We always go to Moody and watch them run by (they run by on one side at mile 3 and the other side at mile 11). Last year, Tad ran the marathon. This year we went and helped my friend with her 4 kids who was by herself and cheering on her husband who ran the marathon. Emily is one of my dearest friends here in Chicago, and we frequently have playdates with our kids, and thoroughly enjoy each other's company!! So glad we went!
Moody had lots of orange stuff (hairspray, face paint, sign-making stuff) to cheer on the World Vision runners. Our girls enjoyed it!
This is right in front of our building. You can see the "Atrium Village" sign to the left. Everything pretty much shuts down in Chicago on marathon morning.
About a half block from our apartment, between our apartment and Moody, with a view of the Willis Tower (the Sears Tower for those true Chicagoans).

Christine, Maddy, and Gwen. The older kids, and then I have Judah (10 months) and Emily also has 6 month old twins. So it's quite the crowd when we get together for playdates!!
My friend, Jess, came into town and stayed with us for a week, and she helped take care of my kids while I was out of town for a wedding I was in. It was so great to see her again, and to catch up! The day of the wedding, they all came out to the wedding about an hour outside of Chicago!
My dear friend and college roommate for 1 year at Moody got married, and I was so glad to have been in her wedding! It was one of the most God-honoring weddings I have ever been to. I know her family and know they are godly, devoted parents and have raised amazing children. The bride and groom actually helped lead worship on the piano and electric guitar, which you don't see at every wedding!!
Maddy is forever the flower girl's friend. She is intrigued by every flower girl at every wedding and can't wait to be one!! Hopefully one day!! These two girls hit it off and played together at the wedding and reception! And Maddy danced the night away until almost pure exhaustion! We had a blast!
The beautiful couple cutting their wedding cake!
A picture where we are actually all looking and smiling!!
Family shot with too much sun behind us!

Love all of you dear people who read my blog! Always fun to know who is keeping up with us!! Drop a line if you have time!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Breakfast Bread Pudding with Peaches

Let me just tell you, this is a really good breakfast! Tad LOVES it. Throw the stuff together the night before, and in the morning you sleepily throw it into the oven, and 30 minutes later, you have a scrumptious, warm, sweet breakfast that isn't a lot of calories!! I have made this twice already, and once was for my mom's group. It was a hit!! You can follow the Weight Watchers guidelines or add in some twists to your own liking!! I'm sure you could mix different kinds of granola, use different dried fruits, different fresh fruit, etc. Hope you like it! And as usual, let me know if you make it, and how it turned out!!

Breakfast Bread Pudding with Peaches
(from Weight Watchers Online)

4 oz. French bread, day old, trimmed of crust and cubed (about 3 cups)
2 small peaches, pitted and chopped
2 Tbs. raisins, or dried cherries
1/3 cup low-fat, ready-to-eat granola cereal
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 Tbs. sugar
1 lg. egg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pancake syrup (Weight Watchers suggests 2 Tbs. low calorie pancake syrup)

1. One day before serving, spray a 1 Quart glass dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine bread, peaches, raisins, and granola.
2. Whisk together milk, sugar, egg, and cinnamon; stir into bread mixture. Transfer to prepared dish, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover bread pudding and bake 30 minutes or until bread is golden. Serve warm with syrup. (Weight Watchers=1 cup per serving)

Points Value=4

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


So we will just start this post by saying that my Grandparents are AWESOME! Most people who are close to me have met my grandparents. My grandma loves to have family get-togethers and over the years, I have had just about every person I have known over there. Well, especially if you live in Ohio!!
They are super loving, godly, serving people, and choose to bless other people with the money they have been blessed with. They have chosen to take every grandchild/great-grandchild to Walt Disney World. And yes, these are the same grandparents who got a beach house for my whole family this past summer in Outerbanks!!
This past September (about a month ago) it was our turn to go! Well, actually Maddy's turn, but we all tagged along!! We stayed at a Disney resort called Port Orleans Resort, and we had a blast!! Here are just a few (ha ha) pics from our trip!!

We never fly on airplanes, just a little out of our budget, so the plane ride was in and of itself a treat for the kids, well, Maddy. She had so much fun looking out the window, getting her little drink on the plane, and holding Judah, as you can see. He might not be having so much fun!
Plane ride!! Judah was such a trooper! Both flights (down and back) he fell asleep in Tad's arms for his nap!! Glorious!!
When we got off the airplane, it all started!! Disney stores, Disney characters to take pics with, and Maddy was excited!!
When we got on our bus to ride to our hotel, everyone was exhausted. The boys crashed in the back of the bus, while Maddy (below) watched cartoons as we rode.

When we got to the hotel, there were little chairs set up and the kids could watch tv in the lobby.
Do we look tired??
That night, we rode a boat from our hotel to Disneytown and had dinner at the TRex restaurant. It was all fun, but there aren't any pics here because I got a migraine for 3 hours and had to go back early.
The next morning, we hopped on a boat and rode it to the Polynesian hotel for a character breakfast!! The main characters were Lilo and Stitch!
Nice family pic. Who is looking?? Me!
Is this a great shot or what??
Poor Judah squashed in the middle!
Family pics before the character breakfast. What a magnificent hotel!!
Mommy and Maddy!
Judah got some love from Stitch. Not sure what he thought about that.
Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa (Or Boopa, as all the grandkids call him)!!!
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!
Pluto! Right, or Goofy? No I think it's Pluto!
Mickey Mouse waffles, and Maddy looking a little dazed. It's the flash on my camera, makes everyone look dopey!
Our view from our table at breakfast!
We rode a boat over to the Floridian, another Disney hotel on the property. That's about all we could afford was to walk in. They had a Princess tea for about $250 for Maddy plus $175 for adults or something crazy like that. Don't think we went to that!! Sheesh!!
Judah zonked out at that point.
I guess all the Disney hotels have really cool pools. Ours was huge and had this big dragon wrapping all through it, and part of it was a water slide, which Maddy loved, and got even Boopa to go down the slide. He is almost 80 by the way!
Judah got to chill with Mommy in the baby pool a little bit!
The hotel was all New Orleans theme, if you didn't guess that already.
My Uncle Mike and Aunt Becky are missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ and live in Orlando where my Uncle heads up Student Venture (the highschool branch, I believe). He came in to have dinner with us one night at Planet Hollywood.

And this is the kids portion spaghetti at Planet Hollywood. What???
Maddy and Boopa!!
Maddy, you are suppose to be sharing that banana split!!

And finally, our day at Walt Disney World!! I loved all the Fall decor all around!! Tad got to go to Disney when he was 4 too, and has a picture right in this same spot.

The castle!!
The castle and some woman's rear end.

They were working on the castle while we were there and Tad thought this picture was awesome. Boys. I guess it's a memory!
First ride! The Carousel!!
The Dumbo ride!!

Grandma paid for Maddy to go to the Bippity, Boppity, Boutique to get her hair, nails, and makeup done. A girls dream!!

Sitting in the chair. She was so incredibly shy I thought that they had mixed up my daughter for someone else's. The lady kept asking her, "Did you lose your voice again?"


A little spray. Oh my.
A little hairspray shield. And they have you make a wish while putting sparkles all over your hair.

Getting her ready, and saying Bippity, Boppity, Boo while spinning her around....

Finished product!! All dressed and ready to go to the Princess lunch in the castle!!
Move it, Shake it parade.

Poor Judah, he will only remember this trip in pictures!! We will have to go back when he gets a little older!
Waiting for lunch, and to see Cinderella!
Is this a dream come true? Maddy has already told me that she wants to go back and see her.
Finally, into the lunch! They have several princesses who come around to each table and take pictures and sign autographs. Maddy isn't much into autographs, but she loved seeing them and taking pictures!!
Family lunch! Very nice!!
Mickey Mouse plate. She wasn't much interested in eating, only seeing the next Princess!
Snow White.
Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, right?)
Belle (Beauty).
Teacups. While we were waiting for them to ride, it started pouring, and my camera died so I didn't get any more pics at the park except on my phone :(
The next day, we went to my Uncle Mike and Aunt Becky's house. They have a beautiful house in Orlando, with a lake in the back, a canoe, and a little pool. Maddy had so much fun!!

Back of their house. I can't believe we have never visited them in Orlando. We will have to come again! We had such a great time, and I loved catching up with my aunt and gleaning wisdom from her about parenting (they have 3 wonderful children who love the Lord), loving God, housekeeping, entertaining, and the like. Love you, Aunt Becky! Wish we could talk more often!
This is right off their house. You gotta love this! Maddy did! This, and shooting lizards off the screen porch with a watergun.
Daddy feeding Judah his baby food.
Family dinner out by the pool. We had a blast! It was so fun!

Last night in Florida. Soaking up the sun.
The last morning, we had to get up at like 4:45 to get downstairs, load our luggage, and be to the airport on time. Maddy had like 4 night terrors that night (probably from lack of sleep) and our hotel neighbors were pounding on the walls! Fun times!! So here we are, bright and early, waiting for our bus to arrive. Actually, it was outside, and we didn't know, and it almost left without us (and about 10 other people waiting inside!) Then Tad almost forgot his backpack and had to run back inside to get it! But luckily, we managed to get to the airport on time, and in one piece. Sorry for staying with me on all the details, if any of you still are. I just wanted to document our trip and be able to look back on this trip with the details. These days I have a horrible memory!!
Big yawn!!
Super early!!!

Thanks again, Grandma and Boopa! It was a trip we will never forget, and we appreciate it so much!!! Maddy is still talking about it and telling everyone that she will be Cinderella for Halloween because she just went to Disney. And playing salon with her dolls. And asking to go back. And wanting to see Cinderella again. We love you guys!!