Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Billy, Tommy, and I are taking a trip to Nana's house tomorrow morning. We haven't been to visit for several months so we're really looking forward to going.

I have such wonderful memories of time spent at my grandparent's house when I was younger. It seemed like we spent the weekend there at least once a month. I would go with my parents, sister, and brother. Our cousins would go at the same time with my aunt and uncle. So, with my Nana and Poppop, that made 13 of us staying in a 4 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. I never really knew where everyone was sleeping. I just knew that the girls (5 of us) all slept in the third floor front bedroom. It's a gorgeous room with huge windows looking out on the main street of the town. I slept in a crib with my cousin, Chrissy, long enough that I actually have memories of it! She slept with her head at one end and I had my head at the other. We had such awesome times on these weekends.

I am so blessed to be able to share my Nana and her town and beautiful house with my children. I still sleep in the front bedroom on the third floor. My boys will sleep in the "magic room". So called because it has a door that leads out onto the roof of the neighboring homes.

Sleeping above a main street with the trucks, sirens, street lights, people out at all hours, trash trucks rumbling past in the wee hours of the morning is so different than sleeping here in the silence of our farm!! It's much warmer too!!!!

Nana shares my joy in eating. She doesn't do much cooking these days though, so I love to take her a bunch of goodies for here freezer.

Today I made her some pancakes, which she just loves. I package them in in threes for her breakfast. I put them in her freezer, but that's probably unnecessary because I think she goes through them pretty fast!

I also made her some oven fried chicken. This chicken is SO good!!! I make it for my family all of the time. You can make it in nuggets or tenders, but I made it in patties this time. I took 4 large boneless chicken breasts, cut them in half horizontally and then in half again vertically. So out of just 4 chicken breasts, I got 16 patties.

I set up a little assembly line to make the process easy. The chicken first gets a quick dredge in flour, then it takes a dip in an egg wash, and then in it goes into a mixture of bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and seasonings. When I make this for my family, I put garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper in the crumbs. Nana doesn't like things highly seasoned, so I just use salt and pepper for hers.

I put the chicken on foil lined sheet pans and drizzle them with olive oil. I bake them at 450* for 12 minutes, turn them and bake for 10 more minutes.

These are absolutely amazing dipped in homemade ranch dressing!

Tonight I made raisin bread. I made Nana 2 loaves and I'll leave a loaf home for Doug to enjoy while we're away.

Tomorrow, before I leave, I'm going to make jam crescents. I'll share the recipe another time.

Right now, I'm going to go watch the rest of American Idol!

Friday, January 11, 2008


Don't you think that food from the bulk food store is so much prettier than food from a regular grocery store!!

A delicious trail mix I made from some of the above goodies:
banana chips, dried apricots (chopped), peanuts, cashews, dried cranberries, and mini chocolate chips.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must show you this purchase as well:

Not quite the most healthy snack option, but they sure are yummy for a special treat (like Tommy's upcoming birthday party)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Well, I knew it would happen baby's a teenager!

On this day 13 years ago, Doug and I welcomed Thomas Joseph into our family. He was then, and continues to be, such a joyful addition to our family. We were truly blessed when Tommy arrived!

Okay, now for the moment you've all been waiting for:

13 very cool, interesting facts about Tommy

1. He was born at home (in the room that is now his bedroom)

2. By the time he was 5, he had broken his nose twice.

3. He is the biggest Harry Potter fan I know.

4. The only school he ever attended was a 2-day a week preschool when he was 3.

5. He is a VERY picky eater.

6. He has a hamster named Stevie.

7. He's the most creative child in the house, and also the messiest.

8. When he was a baby, he did not sleep with a blanket or a pacifier, he slept with a crib full of books.

9. His favorite food is anything having to do with cheese and bread (pizza, quesadillas, ravioli, grilled cheese, nachos and cheese, macaroni and cheese)

10. He can spend hours alone and be perfectly content.

11. He is never cold. You'll rarely ever see him with a winter coat on unless he's skiing or sledding.

12. He loves our amusement park and will now go on ALL of the rides.

13. He writes amazing poetry.

We are so proud of you Tommy. You're an amazing person!!
We love you!

Friday, January 4, 2008


Now I know why I can't keep any seed in this BIRD feeder!