I am always excited to share the news of the arrival of new babies with you, but I have great personal interest in this one. I would like for you to meet my great-niece, Bethany Joy.
Bethany was born on July 21,2010 at 6:50 p.m. weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 20 1/2 inches long. Her proud parents are my nephew Jonathan and his wife Rachel. I had the pleasure of attending Jon and Rachel's Wedding last July. They are so sweet together.
A very proud Daddy with his baby girl!
I hear that Jonathan is in love with his sweet new daughter and doesn't want to put her down.
They announced at Christmas that they were expecting. When I heard the news I cried with Joy! You see, Jon was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 3. He spent 3 years doing Chemotherapy and spent those 3 years being pretty sick. One of the side effects from Chemo can be infertility. As you can see, God had plans for Bethany to be here! God is so good!
Rachel recently started a new blog, so you can go here and pay her a visit.
I will have the pleasure of meeting Miss Bethany next month. I can't wait to get my hands on her! Well, that is if Jon will let me have a turn!
Congratulations Rachel and Jon! She is beautiful and we love you all!
Update: After I had this post ready to go up, I learned that Bethany has Jaundice and was admitted to the hospital yesterday. Rachel's facebook status this morning was that Bethany's bilirubin count has come down and her weight has gone up, so she probably will be able to go home tomorrow. Please keep them in your prayers and that Bethany can go home soon!
Would you please pray for my sister-in-law? She has been battling cancer for a few years now. Last night she was admitted to the hospital with swelling in her abdomen. She was told it was a tumor and then later told it was fluid and it needed to be drained. Please pray the doctors will come to agreement on what is wrong and for the right course of treatment. Also pray that God will give her a complete healing! This is my oldest brother's wife. I have known her probably since I was 10 years old. They were married when I was 12. I have always loved her and she has been like a big sister to me. She is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.
It is in the middle of the Summer and boy it is HOT! It has been mostly in the 90's for a few weeks now. This week it has been constantly in the 90's and now the heat index is supposed to be in the 100's. So what better place to be than the pool? Remember I shared with you that Micah won a family pass to the local pool in this post? On Monday we finally made our way there and had a blast.
Did I mention that a family includes a Mom and a Dad and 3 kids? Yeah, that is just the beginning of our family. I am not going to complain though! I was able to put 4 kids on the pass with me, since Hubby will not be able to go very much if ever. We could buy a pass for each extra child for $25 per child, but we chose not to. I probably will be going with the 5 youngest mostly, so I will only have to pay for one. On Monday Rebekah had the day off, so she and Victoria tagged along. So, I did have to pay for 3 that day.
It is a wonderful place for the younger children because most of it is fairly shallow. Micah could walk around most of it by himself. There is a lot to do and keep you busy for quite a while. There is one place that is whirlpool. The 5 youngest spent a lot of time there. It was a bit crowded for me, so I sat in an area nearby watching them.
Anna and Sammy really enjoyed the slide. Anna tried both, but she preferred the curvy slide. Sammy stuck with the curvy slide the whole time.
Micah going down the smaller slide.
Anna making a splash!
Luke,Rebekah, Matthew, Micah
Victoria, Sammy, and Matthew waiting for the bucket to fall!
SPLASH! Yes they are under there somewhere!
We ended up going back to the pool yesterday as well. This time I just had the 5 youngest. Some of us got a little sunburn yesterday even with using sunscreen, so we are taking a break today.
Summer will be over before we know it. Around here, school starts around August 11th. The pool will only be open on the weekends after that! Bummer!
Well, it is official! I have a knack for growing cucumbers! Anytime I have had a garden, I have not had a lot of success with much except cucumbers! I love cucumbers and so do many of my children, so we are happy with cucumbers. Maybe I should only plant cucumbers for now on.
I went out to the garden today and found these babies. I haven't checked in about 3 days, but I was so surprised to find these. The last time I checked, I only saw cucumbers just forming.
The rest of my garden is not doing so great! The corn is tiny and starting to grow tassels. Yeah, I don't think we will get much out of that! The tomatoes only sprouted and then died! The sunflowers did pretty well last year, but this year are still growing, but do not seem to be doing great. The lettuce is so-so, and the green onions are doing pretty well. I need to try something new next year or just maybe start a cucumber farm!
One thing I have enjoyed is trying new recipes. I love cookbooks and could sit and read through one like most people would sit and read a novel. If anyone was ever wanting to give me a present and had no idea what to get, a new cookbook would be perfect!
I like to try recipes for dinner as well as desserts. The dinner recipes are more of a challenge because most of my family will not eat a dish with veggies added in. I love veggies so there are many recipes that look yummy to me but I know won't work out too well for my family.
Dessert recipes are my favorite. I guess one reason is I have a Huge sweet tooth! That works really well with my quest to cut sugar out of my diet! Of course the family is excited when I try a new dessert recipe.
I subscribe to a few sites that send out email newsletters with recipes. Yesterday I decided to try this recipe from Betty Crocker. You can find the recipe here.
Strawberry-Frosted Banana Brownies
From Betty Crocker
1 box Betty Crocker® fudge brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs as called for on brownie mix box
1 banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Fresh sliced strawberries, if desired
1. Heat oven to 350° F (325° F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease or spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan.
2. Make brownie batter as directed on box; stir in bananas. Spread into pan. Bake 24 to 26 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely.
3. In food processor, process strawberries until pureed. In medium bowl, beat powdered sugar, strawberries, butter and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Garnish with strawberry slices, if desired.
When I make brownies I usually double the recipe and bake them in a pan that is larger than a 9x13 but not exactly double the size either. I do not know the size of the pan, but it is a blue lasagna pan I got from Pampered Chef many years ago. I absolutely love this pan and wish I could find another like just like it!
Anyway, I doubled this recipe also and baked it in my blue pan. I actually used the Pillsbury brand brownie mix!(shame on me, I know!) I stock up on those because Walmart will have them on sale for a dollar. Another thing I do is add chocolate chips to my brownies. I do a half cup per box of brownie mix. So I added a cup to this recipe since I doubled it!
I served the brownies with sliced strawberries and drizzled chocolate syrup on top. I wanted to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but we did not have enough for everyone. I should have planned ahead!
The flavor was very yummy! I like my brownies gooey, but these were a little more cake like. I wonder if making this with cake mix would would turn out well?
Strawberries and Bananas are some of my favorites and the pureed strawberries in the icing was very yummy! I give this recipe a thumbs up!
As you can imagine, it seems as though there is a Birthday around here quite frequently. If you have a large family, then you totally understand! Actually, four of our children have a birthday in November. Had they all come in different months, we could have covered more months on the calendar!
I think that recently turning 46 has stirred a bit of emotions in me. I really do not fear getting older, it is not anything like that. It is just that my child bearing years are fading away. I have truly hoped that I could have one more healthy pregnancy before I am all done. I know that could still be a possibility, and I leave it all in God's hands. He know what is best for me and my family, so I totally put my trust in Him!
Another thing that is messing with my emotions is the baby of the house is now 5! How could it be?
Now if Faith was here with us, she would be 20 months old, but she is not. I so miss having a baby around here and I miss Faith so much.
Anyway, our sweet Micah is now 5. He is a very active little boy! More active than most of any of our other boys ever were. He hardly walks anywhere, he usually RUNS!He is a lot of fun and almost always has a smile for the camera. He is a bit of a handful and probably should be a lawyer someday because he will argue his case and he will argue your case for you too! I enjoy him but he does wear me out! I must admit I do enjoy when he falls asleep at night too!
Happy Birthday Micah!
This is my absolute favorite!
Can you see a theme here? He loves all things Toy Story. I was so happy to find this Slinky Dog. He really loves him!
I just recently celebrated my Birthday. Yep, another Birthday came and is now gone! At this point in my life, it would be perfectly OK with me if we just skip by my Birthday! I am just not into it!
So, since I post pictures from everyone else's Birthday, I decided it would only be fair if I share some from mine.
For Birthdays, we usually just gather as a family for cake and presents. With 10 kids and a daughter in law, we pretty much have a big party by ourselves! It is getting a little bit more tricky these days though, with work schedules and kids away on different trips, our numbers have been down a little.
Now, on to other things that I would rather talk about!
Over the weekend, Hubby and decided it was time to hack away cut back our butterfly bush! It was taking over. We really need to relocate it to a better spot, but my poor hubby has helped me relocate too many shrubs over the years! Actually last year we moved this particular bush because it was taking up all of the sunlight from my little Japanese Maple Tree. The butterfly bush looked really sick for a while after moving it, and we were not sure that it was going to make it! Well, it did make it and doing better than ever. This year it has grown bigger than ever and the blooms have been huge also. The only problem is that it has been hanging over our sidewalk and shading too many shrubs from the sun. So, we got a little crazy and cut away!
The bush was so full of bloom that I decided to make a bouquet out of them. As I was standing there holding the bouquet while hubby was cutting some more, I had a butterfly land on the bouquet. He kept flying around me and landing.
I felt like he was my very own pet butterfly! We also have some very beautiful blue butterflies that like to hang around our butterfly bush, but they seem a bit more shy. The scare a lot more easily, so it is hard to get a picture of them, but I will not give up!
In other news, I finally planted my flowers! Yeah, they have only been sitting around for a month waiting to be planted! They were starting to look a little sick, but most of them seem to be perking up a bit! I will post some pictures soon!
Sorry, I have not been doing a whole lot of blogging recently. Life stays a bit busy here.
Last week the kids had musical practice Monday -Wednesday. We had to be at church at 9 a.m. each morning and it takes about 40 minutes to get there. The younger kids had practice from 9-12 and the older kids had practice from 1:30- 4:00. We ended up eating lunch out each day.
The older kids had practice again on Monday evening from 7-9. To make it even more interesting, Rebekah and Victoria had TBQ practice on Monday and Tuesday from 5-6:30. I was blessed to be able to go home on Monday and Tuesday after lunch and leave the older kids at church until pick up time in the evening. A friend that had children with the same schedules as ours, fed my kids dinner between practices. Mike picked the kids up on Tuesday after work. Wednesday the girls had TBQ practice in the morning and the younger kids had a second practice Wednesday evening during regular church time. I ended up staying at or near church until about 9 p.m. on Wednesday night.
Confused yet? Let's just say those three days were very busy! I admire and appreciate those who work with our kids! They work so hard. I was exhausted just transporting the kids back and forth and sitting and watching. I can't imagine how exhausted they were!
Our excitement for this week is that the Library called this morning and Micah's name was drawn as the winner for this month's reading program! The prize is a Season Pass for the family to the Pool/Water Park. I believe that this is the third season for this pool to be open. We have never been, but we have been wanting to go. I actually was thinking about taking the kids this week, so what a surprise to receive this call!
Here are some pictures from their website:
I have to go to the Library to fill out the paperwork for our passes. What a coincidence that I need to go to the Library today because we have some things that are due!
I so needed some encouragement today, and I believe God gave us this as a special gift to bring some joy into our lives! This pass is a $225 value, so what a Blessing it is!