Friday, April 24, 2009

Banana's First Boyfriend

Of course, Banana's first boyfriend is her daddy.

A few nights ago, Aunt C asked Banana if Daddy was still her boyfriend...

Banana: Yes, I love him.

Aunt C: Are you going to marry him?

Banana: No, Silly!!! It's ACROSS the law.


Also, at least right now, Banana's twin Tank still wants to marry me!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

White House Egg Roll

The White House Easter Egg Roll is an annual family event to race Easter Eggs on the South Lawn while enjoying storytelling and a visit with the Easter Bunny. This holiday tradition has a long history dating back to 1878 when President Rutherford B. Hayes officially opened the White House grounds to local children for egg rolling on Easter Monday. Successive Presidents have continued the tradition of inviting children to the White House Lawn for egg rolling and other activities and entertainment. This year our family was very fortunate to participate in the Egg Roll.

Our tickets had a timed entrance/exit period of 1:15p-3:15p. You had to be at the staging area an hour prior to your entrance. The plan was for me to drive the kids to Mr. O's office where we would park the car (He works 5 minutes from the White House). It was noon when we had parked the car and headed to the staging area. Mr. O asked if I had the tickets.

Me: NOPE, I thought you had them. I started laughing, because the situation was incredulous.

Mr. O: C'mon, stop joking. Do you have them or not?

M: Really, Mr. O...I really don't have them.

The kids were about to cry when they realized we couldn't get in without the tickets. I told Mr. O to take them to lunch, and I would drive 32 miles home to get the tickets.

I got back to his office at 1:20. We got to the ellipse at 1:30, and I was feeling doubtful that we would be admitted since our group staging area was empty. Fortunately, though, we caught the end of our group and just barely made it through.

The South Lawn was crazily packed with people. It was neat to be so close to the President's home though.

I especially enjoyed watching our children participate in their first Egg Roll Race. Each race had 12 participants...Not that anyone was counting, but Tank came in first, Banana finished in the middle, and KK brought up the rear. :)

Fun was had by all!!! I'd like to attend the Easter Egg Roll again with my family, but I would wait until they were a few years older. Many of the events were geared for young children. It was just too crowded, and I was afraid we'd lose one or more of the kids.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr O!!!

We started the day with a home-cooked breakfast made by the Birthday Boy, and ended it by joining him for dinner at the clubhouse after his round of golf. :) Happy Birthday, Mr. O!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Cousin B!!!

It's great that you and your sidekick cousin, KK, share the same age for a month. :)

Happy Birthday, B!!! We look forward to many, many, many playtimes with you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


We all love desserts...I especially love all the desserts that come around holiday times.

Just before Christmas, a good friend gave me an extra gingerbread house kit she had. I thought I'd have the opportunity to build and decorate it with my kids before Christmas. With all the craziness in the days before then, we never got around to it. I felt so bad that we didn't use it...I even told her. Her reaction: no big deal, just get some Valentine's candies and make a Valentine home. We never got to do that either. As Irish as I am, I was sure that we'd make a refuge for all the leprechauns in March. Surprise, that didn't happen!!!

The kids were off the week before Easter. On our first "official" day of vacation, we built a "bunny" house instead. We used pastel M&Ms, jelly beans and Easter cake decorations. Next Fall, I think I'm going to buy 2-3 of the gingerbread house kits. You can use them for any holiday.

On Easter Sunday, our close friends, who own and operate a bakery just South of Baltimore provided many goodies for all that came to our family feast. My sister provided the centerpiece.

Here's the centerpiece...

And, here are all the scrumptious desserts from Touche Touchet!!!

And, here are our good friends with our eldest by one minute, Banana!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From Easter Lamb to Shepherd's Pie

We traditionally host Easter dinner for our family and friends. Our traditional faire includes leg of lamb, mashed potatoes, harticort verts (Do you like that, CoCo?).

This year we did something different...We had Easter Lamb on a spit.

Our close neighbors are from Greece and frequently roast lambs on a spit when they have family gatherings. Since their Easter is not celebrated until next Sunday (the 19th), we asked them if they'd cook an Easter Lamb for us. We're so glad they did!!!

We only had 25 people, so there were plenty of leftovers. Oh, what to do?!?!?

Today I prepared Shepherd's Pie for our immediate family and for my parents and baby bro.

It's heating up in the oven right now and it smells so good!!!

The recipe comes from The Sunday News Family Cook Book.

This cookbook was published in 1962, and was, most likely, a wedding present to my parents when they married in 1964. The only recipe I know that my Ma ever cooked from this cookbook was Shepherd's Pie. Growing up, she made leg of lamb on my birthday. A few days later we had Shepherd's Pie. Every weekend I came home from college, she made leg of lamb on Saturday night. Sunday morning she would make mini-Shepherd pies for me to take back to school. Now that I'm living in the "real" world, she still makes leg of lamb for me on my birthday...but she gives me the leftovers for me to make the pie myself. :)

If you like lamb, and have leftovers, try this recipe!!!

Shepherd's Pie

Two tablespoons fat
1/4 cup chopped onion
Cooking time: 3 minutes
Two tablespoons flour
One teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon marjoram
Two bouillon cubes dissolved in Two cups boiling water
[I didn't do the cubes in water...I just boiled 2 cups of Beef stock.]
One cup cooked or canned peas
One cup cooked diced celery
One tablespoon capers
Simmering time: 5 minutes
Two cups hot mashed potatoes
Oven temperature: 375 degrees
Baking time: 30 minutes
Serves: Four

Melt the fat in a heavy skillet. Add the onion; cook until straw-colored. Blend in the flour and seasonings. Add the dissolved bouillon cubes, meat, peas, celery and capers; simmer. Pour into a baking dish (2 qts.). Place spoonfuls of potatoes around the edge of the meat mixture. Bake in a moderately hot oven until potatoes are brown. Remove. Serve immediately.

Since I prepped this earlier today and has been chilled, this casserole will be in the oven for 45-minutes-60 minutes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Baby is Born and the Spring Swap!!!

Our family was blessed with the eighth grandchild on my side of the family. Uncle P and Aunt K were married last June 14th in North Carolina. Here they are with my parents on their wedding day.

Just 10 months later on April 13th, Baby Evie has graced our family...Here she is with my oldest brother and the proud papa!!! I love that the first time Evie met her Daddy, he was wearing a NY Yankees shirt. :)

God Bless Baby Evie and her wonderful parents!!!

Semi-Slacker Mom hosted a Spring Swap. I was hesitant to join in as I haven't had the best experience in some previous swaps. I'm glad I joined in as I was paired with the fabulous Soccer Mom. Soccer Mom and I didn't have many exchanges back and forth, but it turned out we were the perfect swap partners for each other. We share a LOVE for Derek Jeter (p.s., Soccer Mom, I was trying to find you a pink Jeter shirt) and many similar interests. Our gifts for each other were quite similar too!!! Here's what I received...

A blue and green tote bag...I'm a lover of tote bags and can never have enough!

Self-tanners for the body and face by Mark, Dove hydrating lotion, a body sponge and the Nivea travel kit...I'm going to wait until it gets warmer before I try the self-tanners; I like the grapefruit and lemongrass scent of the lotion, and I hope to use the Nivea travel kit when I venture down South to meet Baby Evie (I'm hoping in 2 weeks).

Eco-friendly stationery, floral notepad and a book by Debbie Macomber...With Earth Day coming up, I'm going to purposely use this stationery to write the remainder of my thank you notes to friends and family that are sponsoring me in the March for Babies this upcoming Sunday. The floral notepad is right next to my laptop and phone...I'm never searching for jot-notes anymore. As reading more in 2009 has been one of my more successful New Year's goals, it won't be long before I start reading The Matchmakers.

Archer Farms Organic Fruit Sangria loose leaf herbal tea...I haven't tried it yet, but will let you know when I do. I'm waiting until I hook up with my bestie in NY. She's the greatest tea lover I know, and I can't wait to share it with her.

And last, but not least, a BEAUTIFUL necklace that was made by a very close friend of hers...Don't you love it? I do...I've worn it a few times already, and my young daughters are always begging to wear it.

Thank you, Soccer Mom, for all the wonderful gifts. I love them all!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Photography: 101

We love the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie-type books. Very early on in life, we started calling KK our Monkey. She's cute, isn't she???

Here's what happens if you give a Monkey your 3yo steals your camera....

The baby gets smothered while your 3yo... Spongebob!

You also get at least 20 pics like this...

There, you have it!!!