Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Although this Christmas has been bittersweet, we have enjoyed our Advent tradition, and lazy days at home with sweet visits from friends and family. My brother got a chance to come and spend some time with us, and we really loved having him & Natasha here. Of course, the day after they arrived, we had a huge snow storm that left Frank stranded and unable to get home! Being snowed in required lots of hot chocolate and board games to cure our cabin fever :) Snow forts and snowballs were built and thrown!

The kids have really enjoyed "taking care" of Lucia, and she is doing wonderfully. She is already just goes by soo fast! Having Memaw here has been a blessing, and has really helped the transition from 4 to 5. Next week we will be on our own, and begin to work out our routine with 5.
Christmas day was laid back and fun. The kids all got just 3 presents from the parents, and some others from family, and it was just the right amount. Christmas is just so fun with all the kids! We love and miss you all, and may just come to sunny FL for Christmas next year! Looking forward to 2010! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lucia Bella-our homebirth story

Well, Lucia finally decided it was time to join the family....and she wasn't wasting any time! Monday was a long, draining day for me, so I went to bed around 9:30pm. I was a little crampy the whole night, but nothing major, and slept fairly well. Then at 5am I woke up from a dream with an intense contraction. Then another came 2 minutes later....and another and another. We called the midwife at 5:15 to tell her they were coming pretty quickly, because she has an hour drive. Now keep in mind, Sophia and Jude were both about 8hr labors. All of the sudden the contractions were one on top of the other, and I knew I was in transition. I got out of the tub and to the bed, and told Frank she was coming. He tried to reassure me that she wasn't....and I quickly informed him I knew what a baby in the birth canal feels like! She was born at 5:53am, caught by her daddy before the midwife arrived! We are both recovering wonderfully, and are happy to be taken care of by daddy :) Lucia Bella Cardinale: 7lbs 11oz, 20.5". XOs!!

Friday, December 4, 2009


My Christmas purchase this year was a green apple KitchenAid Mixer....and I am in love! I just made my first loaf of bread using it and am very pleased! I've only ever made banana bread before, so this was a little daunting...but it turned out great! You can find the recipe here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Food

Our menu:

Pratt's Honey Ham
Sweet Rosemary Acorn Squash
Wild Rice & Sweet Corn Casserole
Chocolate Pie
Green Beans & Bacon
Mashed Potatoes
Martinelli's Sparkling Cider

For enquiring minds :) The flan was excellent, a very nice result for my first try! All of the leftovers have been eaten, and the kids loved all the dishes! A success!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since baby Lucia is coming any time now, we planned to pick out our Christmas tree Thanksgiving Day. It was a gorgeous day to visit the tree barn, just 2 miles from our home. Enjoy the pics, we miss everyone & hope you are all having a great holiday! There is so much to be thankful for!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Lasagna Rolls

One of my favorite things to make in bulk are these Spinach Lasagna Rolls. Making 2 or 3 batches really doesn't take much longer than making one, and they are so yummy to have on a night you don't feel like making dinner! Here's my process:
Boil the noodles to al dente, strain and lay out.

While the noodles are boiling, mix Ricotta Cheese, thawed spinach, salt, pepper, 1 egg, parmesan cheese and whatever else you fancy together. I use 1 large Ricotta cheese container, and 1 package of frozen spinach, and eye the rest.

Take either a heaping spoonful, or use a scoop to put the cheese on each noodle.

Roll them up!

At this point, decide what you're keeping out for dinner, and what you would like to freeze. To freeze, place on a large tray and stick them in the freezer. About an hour later take them out and put them into a large Ziploc. This way you can make as many or as few as you'd like when it comes time to cook them. On the day you want to eat them, take the rolls out and defrost in the refrigerator that morning. That evening, arrange, throw some spaghetti sauce on the top with some mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 for approximately 35 minutes, until your cheese is melty and gooey and just a little crunchy on the top! Enjoy!!
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Sophia Lost a Tooth!

Little Bit lost her first tooth! She was so excited, after working it for a few days, when it just popped out! Here she is doing some schoolwork.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Toby's Spy Party

We had a blast planning Toby's 9th birthday party. He decided on a Secret Agent/Spy theme, and boy did he get it! We started with the invitations, complete with cipher codes:
When the kids arrived there was someone waiting to usher them in...providing they had the password ;) Then they went immediately to the fingerprinting station to make their very own agent ids, receive their spy glasses and notebook with pen. (With the James Bond theme song playing in the background I must add!)
After some mingling we went outside for the obstacle course, which involved jumping jacks, a balance beam, makeshift tunnel, target practice and bomb diffusion (popping a black balloon):
Next we brought out an old suitcase with a group of spy items and let the kids look at them for 45seconds. They all had their spy notebooks issued to them at the fingerprint station. Once we took away the suitcase they had a minute to write or draw what was in the suitcase.We ended the party with a bomb....cake! The candle was a sparkler and thrilled all the boys!
When it was time for presents, Toby received a ransom letter with clues that led him to the loot. Whew! I'm tired, but it was worth it! All the boys & Toby had a great time, and we just can't believe how big he is! Happy Birthday Toby!