Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Monday, August 29, 2011

Luccock Park Camp 2011

Ever since joining First United Methodist Church in Billings, we have made it a point to attend the Family Camp at Luccock Park United Methodist Camp in Paradise Valley near Livingston, Montana just outside of Yellowstone National Park. There were not very many people attending the camp from our church this year, but the girls really enjoyed it and Maggie made some new friends and got to see some wildlife.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"My First Day of Kindergarten" (in Maggie's words)

It was so fun & cool. Do you know what we use at nap time? Bean bags! There was a big rock for us to jump off of. Dad, lunch was really good and tomorrow I'm going to bring my own lunch. We carried lunch on a tray and the cafeteria was in the gym. We used the cafeteria of the old gym and I got to use my new shoes!

Two more friends sit at my table but I don't remember their name! At the end of the day Mrs Rodacker gave us a treat and I got an orange tootsie roll that tasted like a pumpkin! A pumpkin, Mom!!

At the end of the day we walked with a teacher to the bus! There were three other kids on the bus. The bus took me to swimming lessons. [Maggie is going to the YMCA for the after school program, which is where she had swimming lessons. She will get to swim there on Fridays.]

My favorite part of today was the playground! My second favorite was the treasure chest! My subject was toys! I liked science but we didn't really do science today.

Kindergarten was the best! I am looking forward to tomorrow!

[Maggie also told me how at recess they took a nature walk outside the playground and Mrs Rodacker took pictures of them. She was exhausted and hungry when I picked her up at the Y. I need to be sure to always have a snack & drink in my car for her! When bedtime rolled around, she went willingly and fell right asleep!]
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

First Day of SCHOOL!!! (part 1)

We had a very very exited Maggie on our hands this morning.  We thought we would sleep in, but sleep habits do not break easy.  Rocky & I were up at our usual time, but Maggie woke up not too long after us.  She came and snuggled with me while Rocky showered and then with him while I showered.  Then she decided she wanted to shower (again, she took one last night).  We watched some “Sponge Bob.”  After her shower, we found her dress and Rocky got the camera out. He does a first day of school story every year with a Kindergartner and this year, of course, the story was with Maggie.

He got some video with her and then we went to the kitchen and I 2011-08-24_07-49-32_491made pancakes (her favorite breakfast).  I even made a Mickey Mouse shaped pancake, which turned out pretty good!!  We had so much extra time, but it seems to fly by.  Rocky got more video and then Maggie could stand it no longer!  We decided to take Jessie to daycare first to kill some time.  And were almost late getting to school.  It turned out pretty good, actually as we were able to take Maggie right to her room.  She took her backpack right to her cubby and went directly to her chair (Ms Carol did a good job training her :).  I had to ask her for a high 5 and hug!  In a few minutes, I’m heading back to school to make sure she gets on the Y bus for the afterschool program as she decided she wants to go there today.

I cried, a little. Tears of happiness, tears of pride, and a few tears of sadness – my little girl is growing up.  I can’t wait to hear all about her first day at school!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Goodbye Preschool

Today was Maggie’s last day at daycare/preschool. It was harder to drop her off than I had expected it to be. I didn’t cry [though I 336097_10150269287726547_551991546_7699216_5369269_ocompletely expect to tomorrow]. We read one last story at drop off – that was something we started when we moved here from Virginia to help Maggie and I started dropping her off instead of Rocky. Not sure if that helped her or me more. We’ve been practicing our Kindergarten drop off, which will be a high five & a hug. Of course, we’ll have more time together at home before I take her to Kindergarten so we may read a story before we even leave for school.

Last night, Maggie picked out a thank you card for Ms Carol, her Pre-K teacher. She wrote everything but the word “teacher” and had some help spelling. She was a little worried that Ms Carol wasn’t going to be at school today, but I think Ms Carol didn’t want to miss some of her kids’ last day!

Today, we also got to go see Maggie’s new school & Kindergarten room and meet her teacher, Ms. Rodacker. Maggie was so excited about everything in her room, but especially the sink with a drinking fountain – right in her room! It looks like there are only 14 kids in her room. There are 2 Kindergarten classes, so probably around 28 Kindergarteners total.

I’m kind of surprised at how nervous I am about Maggie going to Kindergarten! I know she’s ready and excited [& I’m excited for her as well], but I’m still nervous. Nervous about her making friends, fitting in, yet still being true to who she is; nervous about dropping her off each morning and about her getting on the bus to go to the YMCA for the after school program each day (I’m going over to meet the bus when she gets on tomorrow afternoon, just to be sure). I’m nervous about her academically – will she be bored? will she be challenged?

I’m praying God will watch over her tomorrow. And me!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Life’s a Beach

 2011-08-20_14-23-07_304After getting home from swimming lessons and running some errands, Maggie wanted to go to the beach at Lake Elmo State Park.  I use the word beach loosely because after living for a few years in Michigan and hanging at Lake Michigan, Lake Elmo doesn’t really stand up.  However, it does have sand and cool water, which for Maggie is all you need to have a beach.  So we loaded the girls into the little red wagon, along with towels, buckets, shovels & other beach toys and, of course, Jessie’s “bah-bee” (her blanket & baby doll). [She calls everything “bah-bee” right now.  Momma & Daddy come out every once in a while, but otherwise “bah-bee” is the catch-all.]

Maggie & Rocky went right in the water and I had expected Jessie to just want to play/eat in the sand.  I was wrong.  She made a beeline for the water and spent the rest of our hour there with a Lake Elmo filled diaper.2011-08-20_14-22-53_320

Maggie enjoyed running in and out of the water and playing in the sand. 

It was a beautiful Saturday, though a little hot.  I got a little more sun on my shoulders than I wanted to.  Jessie kept her hat on most of the time we were there [I did have her bald head covered in sunblock, just in case.]  She was the one to tell us she was ready to go by climbing back into the wagon.

2011-08-20_14-22-45_528 2011-08-20_14-28-19_960 2011-08-20_14-24-07_182 2011-08-20_14-25-35_791

Friday, August 19, 2011


It's Friday night and I am OLD. 8:30 pm and I'm thinking about what time I can go to bed. I am enjoying a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from Flip Flop wines. It's pretty dry and I think it would benefit from sitting in my "cellar" for a couple of years. I do like a Cab that has had the benefit of aging. Hmmm like Me! The dryness doesn't feel as sharp with a couple of years on it. I'm confident I'll purchase more Flip Flop wine. If only because it's fun to say "Flip flop."

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Monday, August 15, 2011

Montana State Fair


Today, Rocky took Maggie (and Grandma Alana) to the fair. They went at the right time, as kids 5 and under were free, seniors were free and they went at lunch so Rocky’s entrance fee was returned if they left before 2, [and of course, they did!]

Maggie LOVED it! She got to ride lots of different rides and told her dad the mini-roller coaster was the best ride EVER!! She told me the best part was the Dizzy Dragon, “and I didn’t even get dizzy!”

100MEDIA95IMAG0611 100MEDIA95IMAG0612

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Come to the Garden

garden03I did do a garden this year, but haven’t been able to spend much time in it, much less taking pictures of it.  Too many kids/puppies to keep an eye on.  I have been blessed with a garden that does so well with minimal watching.  This year, we did strawberries, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, potatoes, peas, lettuce, corn, carrots, pumpkins and watermelon.  We’ve enjoyed a lot of lettuce, a few peas and some beautifully plump carrots so far.  I’ve got a lot of green tomatoes and the corn is starting to get silks.  The pumpkin blossoms are now leaving plump starts of pumpkins and I found 2 teeny tiny starts to watermelon.  I’m trying hard to keep the potatoes and carrots in the ground longer as the longer they stay the sweeter they get.  We did pull some beautiful carrots last night that were almost there.  As my mom said, they tasted like dirt – in the right way!

garden05 garden08 garden09 garden10

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Swimming Lessons

IMAG0533Does anything quite say summer like swimming lessons? We have finally gotten Maggie into lessons at the YMCA and she LOVES it. She has no problem now getting her face wet and just loves every. single. second of her time in the pool. She is learning the basics of the front crawl and back stroke. After lessons are over, she has to show me how she can swim to IMAG0538various parts of the pool. This is the hard part of it, because with Rocky working Saturdays, I’ve got both girls in the pool and it’s so hard to give Maggie the attention she needs and keep a hold of Jessie when all she wants to do is get out. Jessie is in lessons too, though her lessons are more about getting the kids used to being in the water and an introduction to blowing bubbles, jumping in and a little bit of kicking. She might be just a bit young for it, but she’ll be in it next year (you have to be 3 to be in the class Maggie’s in) and will really get a lot out of it then.

IMAG0536 IMAG0532IMAG0534Rocky was able to come by lessons one morning and got the photos!

Link up your Summer Fun for a chance to win prizes from Ubisoft

Friday, August 5, 2011

Don't You Wish You Were At My House for Supper?

Several years ago I was inspired to try making slow cooked bbq ribs after watching Alton Brown's "Good Eats" episode on ribs. It starts with a rub that ends up used as a starter for the sauce. My rub starts with his recipe but usually uses what I have. This time I used:
6 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp each: red pepper flakes, parika, Old Bay, cinnamon, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cocoa powder
Mix well. It's best if you let it air over night to let the flavor meld.

The ribs: this works best with pork baby back ribs but I'm getting better with spare ribs. Spare ribs are a little harder to prep. You want to trim most of the fat and what I call the "film" from the ribs. Leave a little for flavor and cooking with. Put the ribs is a large foil pouch still open and cover with the rub. I find this recipe will coat 2 slabs fairly thick. Cover and seal the foil pack and refrigerate over night or at least 8 hours.

The next day preheat oven to no more than 200 F. Cook ribs in foil pack for 4 hours. Remove from oven and open small part of one corner of foil and drain juices. Separate fat and reserve liquid for bbq sauce.

The sauce:
In a sauce pan combine
Liquid from ribs
1 cup Coke
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
3 dash Worcestershire
A few dashes each of garlic, salt,
Cook over medium high heat until reduced.

Remove sauce from heat and ribs from oven. Ribs should be ready to fall off the bone. Remove top piece of foil and brush or spoon on sauce. Place ribs under broiler at high and carmelize the sauce 3-4 minutes. Watch ribs to prevent burning. Let ribs cool slightly. Cut into 2 ribs sections and toss with remaining sauce. Enjoy!!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

My almost 6 year old

In about 2 and 1/2 weeks, Maggie starts Kindergarten. She has gotten so tall and refuses to hear any talk about her being anything other than a “Big Kid.”  She loves to read to us (and is getting really good at it) and enjoys practicing her math skills with workbooks.  She is so looking forward to Kindergarten.

Maggie01 Maggie04Maggie02 Maggie3  Maggie05 Maggie06

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

14 months of Jessie

Jessie_14mon_1 Jessie_14mon_2 Jessie_14mon_3 Jessie_14mon_4  Jessie_14mon_6 Jessie_14mon_5Jessie_14mon_7

The child rarely stands still long enough for a photo, but at least it is easy to capture her outstanding personality!