Showing posts from October, 2011

A fire to keep warm, some neighbors who help out.

Well, it was exciting at first this no electric thing.....but it is cold! Felt all nice and neighborly two days ago when I shared some soup with the neighbors. But as always they all help us out all lot more than we do them. Alan returned the favor by plowing our driveway on Sunday. Our other neighbors George and Brenda gave us some wood to start a fire in our fireplace.
Thank goodness for that fire, because we then could have some friends over who didn't have any fire, electric....warmth in their home.

Can I just say? There is nothing like a fire. It's mesmerizing, with its flickering and sparking, a constant glowing heat infusing the air with comfort, and the smokey rustic smell of a fire is divine. Especially on a freezing snowy night with no working furnace.

To add in, we were blessed once again when friends from the next town over (who had electric) invited us over for dinner for some homemade chicken soup and corn bread. Mmmmm....thank you Goodmans! And thank you t…
What does snow in October mean? It means cancelled Halloween parties :-( However it also means snowman making, and my daughter shoveling the driveway with Daddy. It also meant the electric went out for the whole night and we had bundle the kids up in layers and all share a bed.
It means making soup and hot cocoa on the grill, lighting lots of candles, hooking up the generator and playing cards such as Memory, Monopoly cards and Go Fish.
Thanks to a generator and cancelled church it meant eggs, bacon and potatoes on the skillet and the morning news with some Veggie Tales thrown in there. A little unexpected snow gave us a little unexpected family adventure and it's been fun :-)

Elly's Snowman

Ellyanna: Mommy wanna see my snowman?
Me: Oh wow sweetie it looks great! (looking at a pile of snow on the driveway I assumed was the snowman)
Ellyanna: No that's not it Mommy. (runs towards the garage and points to the a snowball on the ground)
This is it! It's a baby snowman!
This picture is her trying to see with her hat and holding her snowman in her hand.

Cute things my kids say

Ellyanna: Mom remember when I was in your eye?
Me: Huh? What's that?
Ellyanna: Remember when I was in your eye? Before I was born?
Me: mean when you were a twinkle in mommy's eye?
Ellyanna: Yeah mommy, remember when I was a twinkle in your eye?
Danny always says that when Elly asks about where she was in pictures of Danny and I before she was born.

Trick or Treat!

Well the girls had fun collecting candy at the neighbors house. Ellyanna decided to be a Barbie Musketeer after a Barbie movie. Brinley was our chunky lil skunk. They both looked adorable!
Then Elly and I went off into town to collect treats! We went into the heart of town this year, where kids swarmed by the drones. Although it was fun, I'm thinking next year we'll trek back to the outskirts of town, where the candy is bigger and the drones smaller. Elly was a trooper, her feet were killing her by the end of the night with those pink cowgirl boots. Happy Halloween!

Lights out Night

I read an article in a magazine....think it was Family Fun? Anyways it was about a family who did a Lights Out once a week, turning off the lights, Internet and tv, eating dinner, playing cards and telling story by candle light.
My four year old, one year old an myself did a lights out night for one hour. Yeah, that was enough with a one year old. But it was fun :-).
We put a blanket on the floor and told stories.....well I told stories. Elly's favorite was about Prince David and his quest to save Princess Ellyanna's baby sister, who was turned into a GIANT baby. If Prince David could search the mountains for a cave that had three magical roses an answer three questions right from the scary witch in the cave, then he would save the town from starving, turn GIANT Brinley back into an ordinary baby and marry Princess Ellyanna.
Phew that's a lot. But I've gotta record it all cuz she keeps asking me to tell the story again and again and again l! :-)

Hellertown Halloween Parade

There's nothing like a parade to get your spirits ready for the Holidays! You can't beat the free entertainment, free music, free candy! It's fun to do with family and friends.

We met a couple families together and watched the kids get excited as they admired the fire trucks, oohed at the horses and danced with the marching bands. It also brings the community together, all wonderful things for a good family day.

Raking can be Fun!

Today we got our Fall fill with a bit of raking. To make it fun we invited my friend Danielle (yes that's not a typo, she's a Danielle too) and her kids to help. Of course as we all know the real purpose to raking leaves is to create a pile big enough to jump in! I think we mastered that. It was fun seeing the kids do their part to make the pile.
And to add the merry making we of course had some pumpkin muffins. My daughter Ellyanna helped me make them this morning. She's getting so big and helpful! They were pretty yummy too! All in the name of Fall.

An Autumn Walk

I'm lucky, my parents and in laws both live in the country, so whenever we visit one of them I try to take in the countryside, either in the form of walking their property or taking the road. And when the fall arrives I get giddy with excitement to traipse about and enjoy the view of peppered colors. Today, on this cool gray day, I got out there and walked the country roads. Cloudy days are perfect for Autumn walks, because it makes the splashing color even more vivid. I love wondering what each new bend will greet me with and I am always satisfied with what I get. The aroma of sweet burning wood filled the air. I witnessed and heard a constant crunching of leaves from scavenging squirrels and deer, crows cased, birds chirped and yet amongst all that, a calming quiet, as if the earth was settling for winter. Oh I love the fall! I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy the scenery at it's peak, because before you know it, the trees will be bare and snow will blanket the ground.

Won't you be my neighbor?

When my hubby and I first moved into our home six years ago we were graced by our great neighbors. A knock on our door or a ring from the doorbell introduced us with smiling neighbors holding baked goods in their hands and smiles on their faces. One even handed us a lovely plant that has since grown and has been converted to a much larger pot.

These wonderful neighbors have turned into true friends who attend our children's birthday parties swap recipes along with samples and get together for game nights and dinners. I learned how to make homemade applesauce with my next door neighbor, and her husband has taught my husband how to prunes trees, garden and all sorts of things! They have nourished us with the love and trust of a family. I am so grateful to them.

Unfortunately I feel as if my generation has lost that friendly community spirit. We stay quiet and aloof. If I hadn't been so lucky as to have neighbors that went outside of their comfort zone then I might be doin…

Easy Alfredo

Was feeling lazy so instead of making sauce from scratch I improvised with a semi homeade version.
1) cheap Alfredo sauce
2) heaping tea spoon of chopped garlic
3) mushrooms
4) chicken bouillon cube
5) pepper to taste
6) fresh parsley
7) fresh chives
Pretty yummy and a little jazzed up

Beef Stew

Cut up Beef a pound or more
Skinned cut up potatoes (I used six-love my potatoes)
Diced tomatoes
Beef stock (big can, I think 48 oz-didn't use all of it)
Garlic (teaspoon)
Onion chopped up (I used half)
Gravy packet (you know the dry packets you add stuff to)
Parsley (to taste)
Chives (to taste)
Basil (to taste)
1)Braise your beef till the pink is gone
2) Cook onions, celery, and garlic together in pan with a little oil
3) When veggies are soft add potatoes, let steam together for 10-15min
4) Add in the beef, beef stock, garlic, everything else! Cover let simmer on med high for hour, stirring every five minutes or so.
Tip: want it real thick? Use less beef stock. It's yummy!

Rail Trails in Hellertown

We have soo many wonderful things to do in the Lehigh Valley! One of our favorite things to do is walk the rail trails. The rail trails is a walking/biking trail where the train tracks once sat and it is beautiful. My mom practically lives here!

It's a trail that runs about 7 miles, from one lovely park in Saucon Valley to another in Hellertown. And it is supposed to expand to Bethlehem and Quakertown. The time to check it out is now! The leaves are changing color, every bend is a new gorgeous view.

Girls Night out at Roxy

Had a great girls night out with some girlfriends. We ate dinner at Chillis', perused the mall, and ended up at the movies.

We didn't end up at just any movie theater, we went to Roxy Theater in Northampton.

An old fashioned experience! The building is in superb condition, the employees dress in a fancy black and white and the concession stand and and charming.

You buy your tickets outside for just three bucks (the movies are about six weeks older than the New Releases) and then you enter the beautiful corridor, handing your ticket to a dapper man before entering the adorable concession stand.

You then proceed through one of the two entrances, Wwere a gorgeous theater with curtain covered stage awaits you. The lamps, walls, wooden floors and chairs are all in pristine condition.

We came to see the movie "The Help" which was wonderful but we also left with an experience, and the appreciation of timless history.

My version of a fall trifle

This trifle was created from a baking mistake. The mistake that I put baking soda instead of baking powder into my chocolate spice cake. This of course naturally made the cake boil over and forced me to clean my oven once again. I had already made some yummy chocolate buttercream frosting when I pulled out the sunken in, spilled over cake, so I decided to improvise.
A trifle to the rescue. Enter some pumpkin pie mix, vanilla pudding mix (I used two cups rather than the three suggested cups of milk) some crushed up graham crackers and of course my frosting and cake (broken into bite size chunks). I layered frosting, pudding, crackers, pumpkin, then cake and repeated, topping it last with more frosting.
My last minute save was for dessert at our friends house. And thankfully they said they both liked it, that or they were fibbing to make me feel better. But I thought it tastes yummy and so did my hubby-trust me he's pretty honest with me. So if anyone dares want to try this, please…

E is for Elephant

School days! The letter of the week is E, and the number of the week is 5.  Here is our schedule:

1) Trace letter E 2) Color letter E paper 3) Read elephant books 4) Feed Wally the Elephant (ball toss) 5) Make paper bag Elephants

6) Act like Elephants 7) Talk about Elephants and their unique traits 8) Play time 9) Snack time

Family Home Evening

Family Home Evening Night! Daddy cut the pumpkin open and we cooked the seeds. Yum!!! Elly is painting her Pumpkin!  Oh how I love the Fall.  I try to fit in every Autumn activity I can.

The hubby and girls are subject to many delicious delectables such as pumpkin soup, spice cake, hot cider, and homemade apple sauce. 

And then I prance them about town taking scenic walks, picking pumpkins, enjoying hayrides and building scarecrows.  Thankfully they enjoy this as much as I do.Well..maybe not as much...but close to it.  ;-)

E is for Ear

Today in preshool we learned about the letter E, the number 5 and the magic of our ears!  After our usual morning routine we did this....

1) Traced the number 5

2) Counted the fingers on one hand, then traced our hand on a piece of paper. Each girl got five stickers to decorate with, some didn't use theirs

3) Played a quick game of feeding elephant Wally (ball toss)

4) Played the five game! Ex: Do five jumping jacks, five twirls, five stomps, five claps, five shouts! The girls really enjoyed this and it helped get some energy out of them.

5) Talked about the magic of our ears, show pictures from a human body book for kids. Had the girls cover their ears while I whispered.

6) Had the girls color a cut out of an ear shapes paper and color it. Glued it onto a paper that had the upper and lower case E, as well as the word ear on it. They traced the letters E on the paper.

7) Played the hearing game! Blindfolded girls one at a time. Had girls make noises with instruments, tearing paper and o…

Seiple Farms

So the girls and I met my mom at Seiple farms. It felt more like a summer day in this eighty some degree weather, but still enjoyed ourselves.

A free hayride to the pumpkin patch was fun, but the hunt for the perfect pumpkin was absolutely challenging. Thanks to all this rain there was some major rotting to just about every pumpkin in sight.

Thankfully we finally found one!

Day in Jim Thorpe


 Tucked away in Pennsylvania's northeastern "Blue" mountains sits the quaint town of Jim Thorpe.
Here resides an uphill village of twisting roads, restaurants, shops, a courthouse, old prison, opera house, old fashioned fire house and a couple mansions. Below, at the base of the town stands the amiable train station. My family and I were lucky enough to spend the whole day here with friends.
As if it's charms weren't enough, we visited during the Fall Foliage Festival, when live music,vendors, and horse drawn carriages dapple the scenery.

Our favorite part of the day was riding the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. The tree speckled mountains towered above us while the flowing Lehigh river cut the path for us to follow. The trees even spoiled us with their turn of brilliant golds and amber.

And the conductors looked sharp in their crisp black and white uniforms. My only complaint: too short. Forty five minutes is not long enough to enjoy the majestic views of Jim…

Camping in October

So my family and I decided to go camping! We were lucky enough to find some eager souls like ourselves to go with us, thus it became a Cooper/Hanson excursion.

Our destination Lake Mauch Chunk Park in Jim Thorpe, PA. We arrived around 5pm and set up camp, allowing the little ones to play. Cooper family was in charge of dinner, so naturally we did what was easiest, hot dogs (Nathan's of course!) sweet potatoes with real butter (a treat) and salad followed by the jiffy popcorn you put over the fire and s'mores.

The kids had a great time taking turns telling us adults stories and discussing our favorite reasons for loving the season of fall (Halloween was a big factor for most). They also went to bed earlier than the adults, allowing the big kids (aka parents) to chat over fire.

And believe it or not we slept well too. Danny and I were a bit concerned since it is the fall and the weather was FINALLY getting a bit nippy, however lucky for Dannys doubling up sleeping bag capabilities…

Yummy corn chowder

Jazzed up some chicken corn chowder with some bacon, dry salsa mix, fresh chives, parsely and wild rice. Used cream corn, milk, and bouillon cubes to complete it. Easy and yummy!

All things Fall

Anyone who knows me, knows my favorite season is Autumn. The crisp chill in the air, wearing sweaters, hayrides, picking pumpkins, drinking cider, enjoying the ever-changing scenery of brilliant colored leaves gets me giddy with excitement. And I try to do it all, corn mazes, camping, scarecrow building, haunted houses, trick or treating with the kids, making applesauce and now add to to the list caramel apple making.

My first semi successful attempt has me yearning to do better, sooner and with more ease. So maybe my caramel didn't stick as well and maybe most of the chocolate ran off in big splotchy puddles. These are lessons to be learned and improved upon.

For example, next time I'm pouring the chocolate on frozen, but dried apples, then rushing it into the freezer for five minutes before attempting to douse it in hot sticky caramel.
The first caramel apple I did was sloshed in caramel, then dredged in chocolate. Yeah, that didn't work, the chocolate slurped right off. S…

The Flying Karanzov Brothers

The longer I live in the Lehigh Valley, the more I become aware of the cool stuff we have here. For example, Dorney Park, The Rail Trails, and did you know we have a Planetarium in Bethlehem? It's owned by Lehigh University.

Speaking of Lehigh University, have you heard of the Zoellber Arts Center? Neither did I till recently. We bought tickets to a couple of shows and my husband Danny and I were able to see one of the three shows we reserved.

"The Flying Karamazov Brothers" is a bit deceiving by the name. I kind of expected to see trapeze artists or something, however I was not disappointed. Four men dressed in kilts and bowties walk around as a singing, comedic, juggling act. I laughed a lot more than I expected, and was entertained till the end. I wont give too much away just in case you'd like to go see them, but i will say if you do, bring something slimy and gross, and they will juggle it.

I always look forward to a date night, especially if it's more than j…