Sunday, April 19, 2009

Onion Eggs

Have you ever heard of onion eggs? Of course you have not. I hadn't either until my mother-in-law introduced them to me several years. Making these egg creations each Easter is something I look forward to every year. They turn out beautifully! Let me tell you how....
Step One-Buy a dozen eggs...or so.

Step Two - Wrap onion peels all around the eggs. What you'll need is some old rags or an old t-shirt you can tear into squares. Place the egg in the square and start layering onion peels. Just grab a bunch and "hide" the egg inside all the onion peels. Yellow onion peels make golden eggs and red onion peels a pinkish egg.

Step Three-Fold the white rag around the egg peels and make it into a ball. Wrap rubber bands around to secure.

Step Four- Boil your eggs. ***My husband taught me years ago how to make the perfect boiled egg. Place your eggs in cold water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water starts boiling, turn off the heat. Leave the pan on that eye for exactly 20 minutes. After that time, your eggs will be perfect in the middle and will look like this....

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Easter

More Easter posts to come.....

But for now, here's a picture worth a thousand smiles

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Water Park

Our family started our Easter weekend with a trip to the indoor water park, located in Gatlinburg, with Erik's sister and her daughter. We were all a little skeptical at first, but the park was a lot of fun for the kids. There was something there for Lucy's age and Ella's. Ella even wanted to do the BIG slide. So she and Erik waited in the long line just to get about 5 people from the front of the line to be told she was too short. Erik was NOT very happy about that.

(I think he wanted to do the big slide as much as Ella did...or maybe more)

Lucy, Ella and our neice

Lucy loved this slide.

(Sorry for the hairy chest behind Lulu, but I really liked this pic. of her...)

Ella was a splishin' and splashin'.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

One Strep, Two Strep, Three Strep Four

Since January, Ella has had strep 3 times and tonsilitis once. You can only imagine how frustrating this has been for us all. But, apparently, we are not the only ones. In her preschool class there are 9 children. 2 have already had their tonsils removed this year, one is having it done this week and we go to the ENT tomorrow to find out if we could possibly be next. Obviously we will try to avoid any surgical procedure we can, but man! This is becoming quite exhausting.

Unlike some other kids, Ella hardly has any symptoms. You would hardly know she was sick except for a very low-grade fever and a sore throat. I guess we are fortunate in that regard.
So, if you were a sick child what would you look like? Do you think you would look this cute?

I didn't this so! This is sick Ella. Not too shabby, huh?

Unlike me, Lucy has really enjoyed Ella being sick. Actually, Lucy doesn't realize she's sick. She just thinks Ella is staying home to play with her. And play they have....

Lucy is not usually that interested in playing dress up. However, with Ella home she's been pretty much willing to do whatever Ella wants.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Old Kate.....New Kate

Have you ever referred to yourself as the "old" me? Or maybe you call yourself the "new" me. I usually think of these monikers being used when someone has made a life transformation. Maybe he or she stopped using drugs, or maybe they chose to do away with another bad habit. Either way, the terms typically signal a dramatic change in a person's self.

But what if there is not a dramatic change? What if a change takes place and that person can't even tell its happening? That is how I feel. Erik often refers to me as "old" Kate and "new" Kate. Let me explain further:

Old Kate
  • organized
  • "together"
  • accomplished tasks and set goals
  • finished projects
  • strived for perfection
  • made lists---and completed them
  • did not forget things
  • multi-tasker
  • satisfied after a days work

New Kate

  • a disorganized mess
  • so totally NOT together---EVER!
  • starts tasks and may or may not finish them
  • who has time for goal setting?
  • feels extremely frustrated that I have several projects I would either like to start or have started that I need to finish.
  • has accepted "good enough" as the standard by which all things are measured
  • makes lists then loses them
  • can't remember why I even walked into the room in the first place
  • Multi-task...well, it's still a necessity.
  • Still satisfied after an even longer days work, but for different reasons.

You see, when I decided to become a mommy, I never knew my life would change so drastically. I had no idea what becoming a mom would do to my "old" self. It wasn't just the outwardly things either. No, I still can't fit into the size 2 skirts that I wore before Ella was born and this stomach will never see the light of day again. But those aren't the things that bother me. Its the psychological and emotional changes that I have been through that make me wonder if "old" Kate will ever return.

For instance, I put my girls down for a nap today and just laid down in Lucy's bed and cried. My house is a wreck, I have no idea what I will cook for dinner, laundry is piled high and there is no end in sight. It's completely overwhelming at times. And that is where the ugly cycle begins. Some days I get so frustrated with all that there is to do that I can hardly will myself to move forward. Now before you tell me I need some kind of medicine, I've already tried that. How do you think I made it through the first 6 months post-partum (but that's a whole different story)?

But there is hope for the "new" Kate, I think. Some days I have small breakthroughs of organization and togetherness. Some days I actually accomplish all most that I set out to do. I know it will be an uphill battle for many years to come. I also know that as the girls get older they will begin to take on more responsibilities around the house and that will be a huge help.

So how, you ask, can I say that I still feel rewarded after a long day's work? Well, I take one look at my darling little girls as they peacefully sleep and realize that there is nothing greater on this earth. God so graciously allowed me to trade the "old" Kate for Ella and Lucy. I did not realize what kind of deal I was making with God when it all happened. Maybe if I did I might have been hesitant. Instead, God took care of all the details and I am now blessed beyond belief.

"Old" Kate might have had it together, but she had no idea what love really was. She had never felt quite as accomplished as the "new" Kate feels when her children so innocently say their night-night prayers. Or as proud as "new" Kate felt when Ella came home from preschool reading her first book. Even the sad times are so rewarding. For in those times my love for my children is confirmed even more.

Which ever Kate you liked better, which ever Kate made you happier, this is the Kate I am now. I dislike her a lot of times and wish she could/would change, but this is the Kate God is working on. This Kate loves her husband, her children and most importantly her Lord. That's all that really matters. We love to tell our kids they are a work in progress....well, so are mommies.

Erik jokingly bought this for me at the grocery the other day. Oh, how I wish the answer was in a bottle of water. I would have bought the stuff by the gallons several years ago. Did you notice that the name of this V-Water is "Focus?"

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Monday, April 6, 2009

The weekend of Lucy's birthday, coupled with Grandma and Grandpa's visit, marked our first visit to the Memphis Zoo. I actually can't say "our" because I was here with my mom and sister. (which, by the way, was so totally cute)

Erik loaded up his parents and the girls and they hit the trail. I think they had a blast and I have to admit that I was a little jealous. I really wanted to be with my girls when they went for the first time this year. The first time is always so special. They act as if they have never been before. Oh, well. We did score a Zoo Membership out of the deal, so there will be lots more trips to come.
My favorite picture. Erik was really into the 2nd hour of the seal show.
On a happier note....

I'm not really sure why, but this picture makes me laugh. Lots going on in this little frame.

I'm not sure how safe this is, but Lulu looks as if she is having fun.
Too big for a stroller, but they know how to sweet-talk their Grandpa.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March Visit

Since Erik's parents are now both officially retired, they have been making more frequent trips to visit. When they come they stay for about a week. Before you sigh, please know that I love it. Some women would dread the in-law visit, but not me. I love having them here. For several reasons, I guess.

First of all it's nice having someone else in the house. I have mentioned before that I think the hardest part of being a stay at home mom is the loneliness I feel most days. Even now as I write my girls are sleeping, but I long for companionship. I would turn on K-Love, but I'm afraid to wake up the girls. I guess them sleeping is, in reality, more important to my sanity (and theirs) than music.

I also love it when they are here because my girls get to spend much-desired time with their grandparents. Oh how I wish we all lived so close together. They literally long for the time they have with them. When it's been a while since the last visit, the girls will start to talk about them several time a day. It's really sweet and sad all at the same time.

Lastly, my husband is seldom happier than when his parents come to visit. You can just see it on his face. He loves being outside with this Dad and just savors every moment with his Mother. They have a fantastic relationship and I just wish so badly that they were able to spend more time together. We really try to make the most of every moment they are here.

So when they came to visit in March, we did lots of fun things:

We measured the girls. We do this every 6 months, on their birthdays. It just so happens that they are in exact 6 month increments in the calendar year. Lucky us!
This is the piece of 1/4 round that I bought to measure them. It's nothing fancy, but if we ever move from this house we will be able to take it with us.

We made bread. I have written about this before, but the girls love to do this with Grandma. I could do this myself, but really. Isn't it nice for them to have that special memory with Grandma? (and it is a huge pain in the you-know-what to clean up afterwards. Flour ends up all over the kitchen)

Dancing with Grandpa while playing Cranium!

Mroe Cranium broo-ha-ha!

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