Thursday, July 31, 2008
2 1/2 pounds medium red potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley * we did not use this & they were still delicious!!!!
cut each potato lengthwise into eight wedges. in a large bowl, combine the oil, shallots, garlic, salt, paprika, cayenne and pepper; add potatoes and toss to coat. place in greased roasting pan.
bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until tender and golden brown, turning every 15 minutes. sprinkle with parsley.
we served these with blackened salmon & salad...what a yummy summer supper!!!! hope you enjoy!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
one dirty baby = lots of laughs
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize how amazing he is when you see his little girls run to him when he walks in the door from work...it puts the biggest fan clubs in the world to shame. it is easy, however, for me to forget how great he is sometimes because life gets in the way...ashamed to admit it...but it's true.
until a weekend like this past one happens...and there is no getting around it...i just see it...and he melts my heart.
jeffrey and i want our daughters to know how much we love them...and we want to do that mostly by showing them...we believe that "actions speak louder than words". what better way to show your first born daughter that you love her than to spend a weekend devoted to making her smile, showing interest in her, talking to her about things that are important to her. what better way to show your second born that you love her than to scoop her up and take her to get donuts, by herself, just so she feels special too.
that's what ella & madeline's daddy does...and it makes me so proud.
i know that my girls will grow up knowing that their daddy is actively interested in things that are important to them. they will grow up feeling secure that the first man on earth that ever loved them did so with his whole heart. they will grow up certain that at least in one man's eyes - there never were two more special, beautiful baby girls that ever lived.
what a way to grow up.
jeffrey, thank you for being the hero for our family. thanks for taking your role as "daddy" seriously...we think you are the best! you have one proud wife and two proud daughters...
the way you love us is priceless...and that is something to brag about!
Monday, July 28, 2008
time in savannah. i felt "warm & fuzzy" to be with the davis family after all these YEARS...and it really felt like no time had passed at all. mer and i stayed up til 3 o'clock two nights and then stayed up til 5 o'clock on our last night...we definitely have to see each other sooner next time because i don't know how long it will take me to recover from lack of sleep...and i am a night owl by nature!!!!!
life with four kids was quite a circus but i am impressed at how well our days turned out! we were able to make it downtown for pizza and ice cream, had a couple of driving tours thanks to "jerome", got to eat at the famous paula dean's "lady & sons" (in the VIP room...once again, thanks to jeremy), meet mer's friends, and play, play, play!!!! madeline has some severe "mommyitis" right now, but i think on the inside - she LOVES the davis' kiddos and their parents...how could she not!!!!!???
in typical price fashion...maddie's and my plane was delayed. we were scheduled to depart at 7 p.m. and didn't end up leaving savannah until 11:15...which put us arriving in D.C. at 12:45 a.m. and arriving home at around 2 a.m.!!! sooooooooooo...the end of our vacation looked a little bit like this - FOUR children under the age of five running wild around the airport lobby for about 3 hours because the davis family didn't want to leave madeline and me stranded. if that is not a sacrifice - i don't know what is!
these special people are an extension of my family and spending time with them was worth every bit of delay that we might have experienced. it is hard to believe that 5 1/2 years ago i held a baby boy just minutes after he was born...and now he is getting ready to start kindergarten...where does the time go? i love them dearly and hope that one day...we live much closer...because there is a spot in my heart reserved just for them...and that spot stays lonely a lot.
thank you davis family for making madeline and me feel so welcome. we loved every minute spent with you...memories that will be stored in a special place...forever. i only hope that next time our time spent with you is longer...
mer...you are a "soul sister" and i love you more than words can say! thanks for being the kind of friend that i know will be waiting for me to turn around one more time when the goodbye is so hard. thanks for being the kind of friend that knows when my hair needs to be played with. thanks for being the kind of friend that paints on sidewalk chalk buckets just so my first born won't feel left out. thanks for being that kind of friend that i can tell ANYTHING to and know you love me just the same. thanks for being you.
let's plan our next visit...because "hello's" are so much easier.
love. love. love you guys.
this was madeline's sentiment about paula dean's..."delicious"!!!! that is her sign for that word!!!!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The first night that M&M were gone, Ella decided that she wanted to go eat a "fancy" dinner with her daddy.
After some discussion, we decided on Bonefish Grill. The one qualification that she put on it was that she wanted me to wear my bow-tie (I only own one, as sort of a gag gift, and she found it the other day in my closet). Sometimes as a parent you will do things that are fairly embarrassing just to see the smile on your little one's face...well, that was me on Thursday night. Ella was just beaming and said more than once, "dad, you look really handsome!" As E and I waited for our table outside, we danced and laughed and chased...Ella as free as a bird and me a little self-conscience, but having a great time. I have to mention one thing that Ella said that made me laugh and cringe at the same time...A rather large (to put it lightly) lady walked by as we sat on a bench people watching and Ella noted, a bit too loudly, "Daddy, look at that lady...I think she had too many snacks!" While I agreed, we had to talk about what is appropriate to say in public and how we need to keep others' feelings in mind. She is such a hoot.
Our sweet little waitress was somewhat embarrassed but gracious when E asked to take her picture (from about 3 feet away).
Ella, of course, loved the buttered bread and told the waitress that she was going to "eat some macaroni like nobody's business." Needless to say, she got a kick out of that. After dinner, we stopped off at Dairy Godmother for some custard and sorbet...Ella was thoroughly pleased with our first night!
On Day 2 of our weekend without Mommy, Daddy had a lot of work to do and E was such a huge trooper. She just watched movies and pretended and colored and played all day while I got everything done. After I finished for the day, we quickly packed things up, I dusted off a bunch of my camping equipment and into the wilderness (or Burke Lake Park...close enough) Ella and I went.
For those of you who don't know, camping is one of my favorite things to do and it looks like I now have a steady sidekick. Ella just absolutely loved it. From cooking on the fire, to listening to nature, to hiking around in the woods, she was all smiles and joy of life!
The only hiccup in our whole stay was the fact that our air mattress somehow popped a leak during the night and we ended up pretty much sleeping on the ground. At about 3:00 a.m., E woke up, leaned over to me and said, "Daddy, can we go home? I have a rock in my back." I convinced her to scoot over towards me and wait it out until morning. We woke up in the morning and cooked an ever nutritious breakfast of cheesy eggs, bacon, donuts and orange juice. After cleaning up, we packed all of our belongings and headed over to the lake for her first fishing experience. Not much to report there. She thought the worms were gross and fishing was boring (no bites within the first 10 minutes, so we just went over to the playground for a while). Overall, I would say camping was a big success.
After coming home, Ella and I cleaned up and headed back out to Baltimore for dinner and a show at Medieval Times. We have seen the "castle" a few times on our way to the airport and I have been promising to take Ella there. It was actually pretty fun. Ella wasn't too sure about the eating with your hands part (Medieval, remember?), but liked the garlic bread and dragon tail soup (tomato bisque). The show was a little "over acted", but the horses and sword play were actually pretty fun to watch. The "Blue Knight" (we were supposed to root for him) threw Ella a flower from up on his horse and that just made her night. All in all, it was a great ending to a fun day.
That is pretty much the whole rundown of our weekend without our favorite two girls! Today has been a pretty laid back day. We cleaned up the house, planned out the meals for the week and went grocery shopping so Mommy doesn't have to. The success of that outing though is yet to be determined. We had a bunch of bags with lots of food so we shall see. I just got word that Meredith is going to be delayed by at least 30 minutes (which will put her in a 9:15) so hopefully, that is the last delay and we get to see her and maddie soon! We have missed them terribly, but kept ourselves entertained in the meantime. :)
Monday, July 21, 2008
peppercorn-crusted pork tenderloin with soy-caramel sauce
1/4 cup minced white onion
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger (**i didn't use this and it was still great!!**)
1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter
2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed (**we used one that was about 1.5 pounds)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
heat a small saucepan over medium heat. coat the pan with cooking spray. add onion, ginger, and minced garlic; saute for 2 minutes. add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar; bring to a boil. cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes). ***it will probably take more time than this...i should have done it longer so that the sauce would be thicker*** remove from heat; carefully stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and Dijon mustard. add butter, stirring with a whisk. set aside; keep warm.
preheat oven to 350*
rub tenderloins evenly with crushed peppercorns, thyme, and salt. heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat (**i used an iron skillet). coat the pan with cooking spray. add tenderloins, browning on all sides (about 5 minutes).
bake at 350* for 23 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160* (slightly pink). ***anyone that knows me...i don't eat pink meat...cook it how you like it!!!!***; let stand 10 minutes. cut each tenderloin into 12 slices, and serve with sauce.
yield: 8 servings (3 slices of pork and 2 tablespoons of sauce)
nutrition info: calories 227 fat 7 g protein 24.5 g
***don't be turned off to the recipe if you don't like some of the ingredients in the sauce! i don't like red wine vinegar or dijon mustard but this was tasty!!!!!! trust me!!!!***
ella had vacation bible school last week and had so much fun. my friend, megsy, was her teacher and ella thought that was the coolest thing since sliced bread! by the end of the week, she wanted to walk down to the front of the sanctuary by herself...such a big girl!!!!! i stood at the back of the church one day so that i could watch all of the children sing this amazing song. in typical "meredith fashion" (like a major goob) i just started crying because i could see ella at the front, her little bow just a moving, doing the hand motions. there has always been something so moving about hearing and SEEING a song being sung...sign language makes me get a big lump in my throat. anyway, it was a great experience for her...madeline was really jealous she didn't get to stay!!!!!!
granny (aka "gigi") was with us for a couple of weeks and we LOVE having her here! she fits into our family just like the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle! she is constantly cleaning, washing, cooking (YUMMY, "TOO MANY WEIGHT WATCHER POINTS" EATS), & helping around the house! it makes me sad to walk by her room and not see her and smell her...she really is a joy to have around! we love you, gigi and can't wait for you to come back!
madeline is really turning into a funny little lady...still doesn't say much...but boy that sweet girl knows everything we are saying! lately, i have started using "time out" with her when she does things that could be dangerous to her. well, let's just say - no two children are alike! when ella was put into time out, she usually had to be hot glued, duct taped, and lasoed into the spot...you get the picture! well, all we have to do is ASK madeline "do you want to have to go to time out" & that little sweet pea marches HERSELF to the "time out" spot and sits there until we come get her. it really breaks my heart because she spends a lot more time there than she would really even have to...she doesn't give herself any second chances! she has even gone to time out at ella's prompting before...she is such a cutie!!!!! her singing ability is really top notch as well...mark our words...she may have a future in the entertainment industry!!!!! ha,ha,ha!
she and i are off to georgia for the weekend...it will be a special time to share with my second born. ella and jeffrey have lots of fun things planned as well...including a night camping - i CANNOT wait to hear how that goes!!!!!! i am sure a guest post is in our future!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
ella tells jeffrey to "tickle me more, daddy"..."i need to get my laugh up"!!!!!
ella to madeline: "your eyelashes are so beautiful. they make me want to cry happy tears"!
(motherhood is amazing in these moments...)
we were driving down the road and this is what we heard from the back seat:
ella: "madeline, you have to ask Jesus into your heart so you can go to heaven." "i paused my movie the other day and said a prayer and asked Jesus into my heart."
ella to us: "did she do it?"
ella: "is there any blood in heaven?"
daddy says: "mommy rolled the window up and it made me jerk!"
ella: "daddy, don't say jerk!"
we were out eating lunch the other day and madeline had dropped some blueberry applesauce on the floor. i bent down to start picking it up and ella said "mommy, allow me"! i thought that was too funny!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
i miss my little pumpkins already...and they are both tucked in tight in their sweet little rooms...i just know i won't see them in the morning!!!!
i am wondering how i am going to handle sleeping in, reading a "grown up" book, eating dinners out that don't involve cutting someone else's meat, having adult chat, getting a pedicure...think i'll survive?!?!?!
i go from not being away from my precious little ones for over a year...to being gone twice within a month...not used to it...and don't want to be!
but i know i will enjoy my husband and the rest...even if it doesn't happen again for a year!
i can almost feel the sand in my toes.................aaaaaahhhhhhh...................
Monday, July 7, 2008
if ella will remember all the conversations i have with her about being kind & loving "her neighbor as herself"?
if they will live in the same town when they are grown & have families of their own?
if madeline will remember how much her big sister doted on her when she was little?
if they will remember anything about the city they were born in, the neighbors that we had, & the friends we spent time with?
if ella will become a doctor...since she is terrified of "bleed" at the age of four?
if they will have baby boys or girls?
if they will EVER appreciate the hundreds of pictures i take of them? (the answer right now is of course, NO!!!)
if they will ever be able to fathom how much i love them...