Sunday, October 03, 2010

The County Fair

This year we went to the Fort Bend County Fair for the first time.
It was just right for our kids. It wasn't too crowded or too big, and the weather was gorgeous.

Minnie's favorite things were the pink cotton candy, the giant slides, and the big obstacle course for kids.

Sammy's favorite things were the giant cows, the bumper cars, and the bubble guns. He could have run around chasing bubbles the whole time.

Amy's favorite thing was watching her kids have such a good time and this little exchange:

Amy: Wow, look at that goat Minnie. Isn't he pretty?
Minnie: Yeah! And look at all of his chocolate chips!
The highlight for Brett was taking Sammy through the mirror maze in the Fun House. Watch this video to the very end. The sound goes out for a minute, but it comes back. The part that cracks us up the most is how Sammy dives for his car when he drops it. The child loves his cars!!

Good times!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sammy's Hair Cut

Well, we finally did it! It was so hard for me to let her do it, but we didn't know when Elise would be here again, and she's the only one I trust with scissors that near my super squirmy Sam's head. So I bit the painful bullet and did it.
Here he is before...

And here he is afterward, with his beautiful Aunt Elise--the ULTIMATE master! She is SO good--patient, sweet, quick, precise, the BEST). I miss his locks, but this look is just great too! Isn't he a handsome little rascal?

We miss you Auntie Elise!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer at the Beach

We recently got back from our annual stay on the Texas coast.
It was heaven on earth.
Grandma, Grandpa, Aunties, Uncles, and Cousins GALORE at our fingertips for a whole week!
We did lots of of our favorite things like:

Getting lovies from our aunties

Sailing with Grandpa


and Flying kites with Daddy

While the Texas coast may not have the most picturesque of beaches, it is the most kid friendly that I've ever visited--warm water, soft sand, gentle waves...We love our beach and we look forward to it all year long.
Until next time!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Learn Something New

every day. That's what they say right? I don't do terribly well at that, but the other day, Brett taught me a new saying! I think it's so cute. He was watching a World Cup match and he said, "Now that guy is going to do a hat trick!"
I said, "A what?"
Do you know what a hat trick is?
It's when one player gets three scores in a row. Cool, huh? Apparantly this term is widely used in soccer and hockey, but it can apply to any kind of score or win that one player gets three in a row.
Later that same night I taught Brett something new. We were talking about an old friend--as in long time friend, and I described him as being a 'gold friend.' Brett said, "A what?"
Can you believe that in his 32 years of life he had never heard the song
"Make new friends, but the keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold?"
I was astounded. But then again he was shocked that I didn't know what a hat trick was.
It's fun to learn new things!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

When it's Hot...

and it usually is in Houston, its' good to find fun and inexpensive things to do indoors with the kiddos. Last week I took Minnie to see her first stage play for only 8 bucks a ticket at the most adorable tiny little volunteer run community theatre around. It's called the Fort Bend Theatre and you'll find it in Stafford. We saw The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It was perfect for a three year old...but I think that kids up to 12 would like it. Actually my 19 year old sister and I loved it too. The performers were mostly children from age 5-15 and then a few adults. They were so adorable! The theatre is old and tiny, which added so much to the charm. And with only eight rows, there's definitely not a bad seat in the house. After the show ended the actors all just stayed on the stage, so we could walk up to them and chat. Here's the website if you're interested! We loved it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Auntie Christie and Uncle Derek

are two of the very berry best aunties and uncles out there.
At the Kite Festival

We are going to miss you guys so badly!

After Minnie's dance recital where no one cheered louder than Aunt Christie.

Without you Minnie wouldn't have a talking belly button or be so proficient at using the thumbs up sign. She would have no idea that crying made her 'owies' hurt more. You guys made my kids feel so loved and special every time you were around.
We can't wait to visit you in PA!!!
We love you guys!

P.S. I don't like to boast, but the other best aunties and uncles in the world are also in our family. My kids are exceptionally lucky.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pot de Creme au Chocolat

I am so happy to have finally found this recipe!
It brings back the fondest, most lovely memories of my study abroad in Paris when I was in college. Very often after dinner my host mother would serve me and my roommate these amazing little glass pots of velvety, soft, chocolate cream for dessert. She just bought them at the grocery store--yes even French 'junk food' is remarkably better than anything we've got. And I've been craving them ever since I got home...nine years ago! They are the most wonderful little puddings ever--although pudding is far too plebian a word to describe what a pot de creme is. By the way, thank you Mrs. Lisa Piorczynski for teaching me that word on that very study abroad. I can still remember almost the exact conversation--weird I know. So many beloved memories!!!
So this dessert really isn't too hard to make, but it did take me two times to really get it just right. Everyone loves it. Sammy likes his with whipped cream.

He's saying "MMMmm" here.

A good thing about this dessert is that it's already portioned out nicely--though that hasn't stopped me from eating, let's just say--more than one 'pot' in one sitting.

Here's the recipe:

1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate finely chopped (don't use chocolate chips--they leave a weird texture floating on the top of the creme)
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped cream to garnish if you want it--I usually don't, but the missionaries did.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter six 3/4 cup ramekins or eight 1/2 cup ones. Line a shallow baking pan (I use a large cake pan) with a small kitchen towel.
In a saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, milk, and chocolate and heat, whisking constantly, until the chocolate melts and the liquid is warm. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until blended. Slowly pour in the hot chocolate mixture while whisking constantly until blended and the sugar dissolves. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1 pt. measuring pitcher. Skim off any bubbles from the surface (I never do that part). Divide the custard evenly among the prepared ramekins or pots. Place the molds in the towel-lined pan and pour hot water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the molds. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. (That's called a bain marie.)
Bake the custards until they are set but still jiggle slightly when the ramekins are shaken, 40-45 minutes. Carefully transfer the baking pan to a wire rack, let the custards cool slightly, and then lift the ramekins out of the water bath. Cover and refrigerate the custards until well chilled, at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Serve the custards topped with whipped cream, if desired.
Bon appetit mes amis
PS If anyone knows how to get an accented e into a blog post, please let me know.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sleepy Head

Sammy calls Goldfish "Hishshshies," and he knows that I always have them in my bag. At home if he wants a snack I'll often see him digging through my diaper bag looking for them. And when we're out on an errand and he gets peckish he says, "Hishshsh,', mo,'" and reaches out with his soft pudgy little hand. Oh, I just love everything he does!
Couldn't you just eat him up!!!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Little Minnie Makes Everything Better

I am so proud of my Minnie.
She is loving and nurturing to all around her. Yesterday was a prime example of her nature in action. We went to the baptism of a little girl named Fazia, who Minnie had never met before. Minnie really loves baptisms, even though she can't sit through the whole program. The sweet little girl was really scared to go all the way under the water. The earnest missionary tried so many times and so many ways to gently immerse her in the water, but after trying for nearly an hour, they ended up throwing the towel in. They'll try again after she's practiced more in a swimming pool. But Minnie almost stole the show with her sweet, encouraging voice. She was right up front kneeling on the floor in front of the font saying,
"You can do it Fazia. I know you can. You can do it. Don't be scared."
It was beyond adorable.

Minnie with her beautiful cousins Ginger and Erin at the zoo.

I am so proud of my little Minnie. What a great example she is to me of unconditional and universal love. I hope that I can always remember the soft, loving sound of her little girl voice, or at least always hear it somewhere in her voice as she grows up.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beep Beep

My little Sammy boy really really REALLY loves cars--or 'eee-ee' as he calls them.
That's Sammy Speak for "beep beep."
He thinks and talks about them all day long.
It can be tough to pry his little cars from his fingers.
The other night when I was putting him down for bed,
he was driving his car back and forth across the pages as we read his favorite book.
And his first uttered phrase (that I caught on to at least) was inspired by one of his favorite movies, and of course, a car. Minnie and Sammy really love The Iron Giant. There's a part where the giant throws a car over a forest.
Sammy loves this part, and here's how he retells it:
Sammy's own words:"Bobot, eee-eee, WHOAH!"
Translated by Mom: "Robot, beep beep, Whoah!"
And further translated, "That robot threw the car into the sky! It was amazing!"
He'll bring it up sometimes randomly, like at the dinner table. It is so fun to see his personality, tastes, and enthusiasm developing! And I just find it thrilling to see him start to understand how language works, and to hear him making his own phrases. So fun!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Curly Head

Here's my beautiful Sammy on a hot, humid, sweaty, chalky, sandy, summer afternoon.

Most people hate the humidity in Houston, but I LOVE it! It feels nourishing and comforting to me. But the thing that I love the most about it right now is, what it does to Sammy's hair.

Isn't it just adorable!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The African Queen

Last night Brett and I had such a great 'date night in.'
Everything fell into place perfectly.
The kids were in bed and asleep by 8:00, so we got to eat a quiet dinner, watch a movie, and get to bed ourselves before 11:00. We ordered a pizza, since the kids just had watermelon for dinner (and couldn't have been more delighted) and then we popped in a classic movie.
"The African Queen" is, without a doubt on my top 10 list of favorite movies.
And it definitely takes the number one spot for a date night movie. The first 15 minutes were a little rough. But once it was just Bogie and Hepburn on a boat, it was pure magic! It was filmed on location in Africa (before that was the norm) and the writing and acting are so completely charming. And the story is totally fabulous! It makes you want to go on an adventure with your one and only so badly!
It's hard not to write about my favorite parts,
but I don't want to spoil it for any who hasn't seen it.
Be sure to try mimicing Bogie and Hepburn's distinctive accents. I think I said, "Uh, Mr. Allnut?" almost as many times as Katharine did in my attempt to get her accent just right. Such characters, those two!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dinner and a Dance

The mini mariachi band at dinner tonight was wonderful.
Clementine clapped enthusiastically after every song.
They came over and played "La Cucaracha" for her.
Of course she had to get up and dance and of course she needed a partner.
Thank you Aunt Emily and HAPPY BIRTHDAY. After this number they even played Elmo's World for her.
You should have seen the stars in her eyes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I love children't books.
And I am so delighted that Clementine AND Sammy do too!
Right now this is one of our favorites. The illustrations are completely darling, and the story is really sweet.
My dad read it to her the other night, and I think I may have seen misty grandpa eyes.
Plus, it's SO fun to hear my three year old say 'masterpiece.'
It's such a great word.
It feels so important and exciting, doesn't it?
Clementine loves to say it.
She doesn't just say, " I want to read this book."
It's always, "I want to read Sophie's MAsterpiece tonight Mommy."
(I'm trying to signify a dramatic accent on the first syllable there).

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Minnie requested that we have family home evening tonight. Afterwards, Minnie says that it's time for our treat, and Amy says that she can finish the chocolate bunny that the Easter Bunny brought her.
Minnie seems content, but I wanted a couple of the little Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that the Easter Bunny stashed in the pantry. I brought two of them to the table, and Minnie promptly grabbed one. The following conversation took place:

Daddy: Minnie, those are Daddy's treats.
Minnie: I'll have this one, you can have that one...that's sharing. Heavenly Father wants us to share.

Touche', Minnie. Touche'.