strawberry lemonade bars

to celebrate the holiday weekend...
a delicious recipe that i found.
and made for friday and saturday gatherings.
enjoy :)

Strawberry Lemonade Bars
found on Baking Bites and shared by jen :)


1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt


1 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cup berries)
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or use the Baker’s Edge pan, if you have one).

Begin by making the crust.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 17 minutes, until set at the edges.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar and eggs and process until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse until smooth.

Gently pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set (There will be a light colored “crust” on top from the sugar in the custard – nothing to worry about).

Cool completely before slicing and use a damp knife to ensure clean slices.

Store bars in the refrigerator, especially on a hot day.

Makes 24 bars.

...and a few behind the scenes pics from the foodie photo shoot ;)
enjoy your long weekend!


porch update

There have been a few requests for some updates on the porch.

Dave is doing an awesome job, with the help from some very good and very generous friends/neighbors/co-workers.
He just knows what to do... it's so nice having a handy husband :)
He has gathered quite a collection of tools for the job.
And is also fast becoming best friends with the employees at Home Depot.

I am doing an awesome job being patient ;)
(which is pretty impressive for me, actually)
And I did hold one board up to be screwed in place.
And I’m good at refilling water.
And making and/or buying food for the guys.
And trying to keep the kids out of harms way.
And asking lots of very important questions.
Then leaving Dave alone ;)
(Just needed to give myself a pat on the back for the other side of the porch building process.)
(Hey, this is my blog after all ;)



a HUGE giveaway at OMW!!!

Oh My Word!

Want a chance to win some LBE items?
How about a ton more other fun Ohio-created items??
(That crayon roll is a product of my dear friend Lesley :)

(photo by Evelyn at OMW!)

go right here for ALL the details on winning some super super fun items!!
(guess what... you can have up to 5 entries!)

Evelyn is pretty much amazing for hosting such a fabulous giveaway.
Yay for Evelyn!!
(and i got to meet her in real life.)
(she is adorable.)
(just as i suspected.)


happy 9th anniversary

9 years ago today...
i married my best friend.
he is still my best friend.
and for that i am so blessed.
this is one of my favorite pictures.
(taken by one of my favorite people... vicki :)

Happy Anniversary to my sweetie boy.
My forever boyfriend.

and a happy anniversary to some special people we love
and are so glad to have in our lives...

jan and carol celebrating 31 years
susie and papa d celebrating 38 years

may 26th must be a good day.


ice packs

Speaking of injuries.
Where there are booboos, there are ice packs.
Or in our house…
bags of frozen shredded cheese and a box of frozen super pretzels.
Lilly was the only one with a real injury here.
(A skinned leg from falling off a chair while watching mommy make oreo balls.)

The boys just wanted in on the action.


goose eggs 101

if your 3 year old falls off the bench at your kitchen table and hits his head producing a goose egg the size of a golf ball in seconds (precisely 2 weeks after getting staples from falling and cutting his head open) and requires a trip to urgent care (again) you’ve got… cohen.
I am not a medical professional.
But here is what I have learned about goose eggs.
(Enough that the next time, and i'm sure there will be, I know just what to look for.)

Goose Eggs 101

A goose egg is good.
It means that the blood is between the skull and the skin.
(Rather than bleeding under the skull)

A firm goose egg is good.
It means that there is nowhere (like a crack in the skull) for fluid to go.

Immediate crying is good.
It means there is no loss of consciousness.

No vomiting is good.
For many reasons.

Other helpful hints:

-Drive carefully while you are scrolling through your cell phone trying to get a hold of someone to see when urgent care opens, or if you should go to the ER.

-Be nice to your husband who is sitting in the back with the injured but still telling you how to drive (while you are on your 6th try to get a hold of someone.)

-finally get a hold of a mother of 4 children who has the emergency numbers in her cell phone (brilliant!! why do i not think of these things on my own?!?). (interestingly, this mother ended up taking her youngest into urgent care that same evening, and luckily knew their hours exactly due to our call earlier that day :)

-add the urgent care numbers into to your cell phone while you are waiting to be seen.

-if you are at the park 2 days later, be extra careful not to let the said 3 year old rebump his goose egg going down the swirly slide

-motrin is our friend
-take pictures.
he's still all smiles.
even after all the tears and a poor bumpy head.


clap your tiny hands for joy

i couldnt not post this.

read the story here.
(thanks aaron, for sharing.)
have a great week :)


convos and pasta

I was only going to share a recipe today...
but there were things said by the kids that were too fun not to share.

Lilly: Eeeeh. (picking at the top of my head)
Me: What? (thinking there was a bug or something in my hair)
Lilly: You’ve got something white.
Your hair is white.
You are growing white hair.
And it’s attached to your head.

Cohen: Ho no. I got another boobie.
(when falling and skinning his knee. again)

Cohen: I need to play hockey really bad.
(while getting his hockey sticks out of the van after a short trip to the store)

oh my. i do love these kids.
and now… moving on to what I like to call a ‘poor man’s recipe'.

I’m kind of good with making stuff from nothing.
With food that is.
Not so much with anything else.

There are many times when I feel like we have 'no food in the house.'
This recipe resulted from one of those times.
Now it's a common lunch menu item.

We'll call this one...
"Poor Jen's Pasta" ...to please those who want a name with their food.
(all the kids love this. even the pickier ones.)
Poor Jen's Pasta

cooked pasta... any kind, no particular amount ( just however much you need)
butter/margarine/country crock... whatever you use
grated parmesean cheese
garlic salt

Cook your pasta and drain.  Add a glob of butter, some nice shakes of parmesean cheese and a few good shakes of garlic salt.  Give it a taste and if you want, add more garlic salt to your liking.  (But don't forget you can't take back the garlic salt... so don't add too much, it'll be ruined!  Believe me, I know.)

Happy Thursday all!


take steps

You may have noticed a new button on the right of my blog.
This year, our family is participating in the Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis Walk.

As some of you know, Dave was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2001. 
At this point in time Dave’s Crohn’s is generally under control with daily meds… 
yet we are excited to help support the research in finding a cure...
so that he may live pain and pill free!

Today marks the 1st ever World IBD Day.
IBD, which stands for inflammatory bowel diseases, is comprised of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — two serious, chronic digestive diseases that affect five million people worldwide (1.4 million in the U.S. alone). Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis directly affect the digestive system and cause intestinal tissue to become inflamed, form sores, and bleed easily. There is no cure, no known cause, and little public understanding of the pain and chronic suffering with which IBD patients courageously cope every day of their lives.

Please consider supporting our family, and many others...
by walking with us or donating to support CCFA in finding a cure!

Dave, Lilly, Cohen and I thank you :)


back from the break.

im back.

taking some time away from the blog makes me realize...
that i really like the blog.
or 'to' blog, i should say.
i like to blog.
and i miss the blog.

its my little getaway.
so im back.

and now...
some major randomness.

the outies.
(or the innie outies as i sometimes say...)

a cute little something that i made for an upcoming giveaway.
(more info to come....)
painting toes on a rainy day.
and the porch in progress...
have a great week :)


be back

dave builds stuff.
i make stuff. to eat.

which is just one reason why i try to jog everyday.
though i wish i could jog with my eyes closed.
and take a little nap.
while im jogging.
i know. sounds strange.
but i really wish i could.

a lot of life is going on right now.
and the honest truth is...
i am not good with dealing with a lot of life.

so, im taking a break from the blog
 but i'll be back... i know i will miss it.


mother's day 2010

This will be the mother’s day that I never forget.

It started with this.
And we ended up with this.

A review of Mother’s Day 2010.

Fancy breakfast with eggs, pancakes and a tablecloth.
A new beautiful necklace stamped with 3 of my favorites :)
Church. Singing and worshiping always makes me feel better.
Drop off our redbox at Giant Eagle (The Blind Side. Great movie)

Head up to our hometown.
Visit #1. Dave’s parents.
Enjoyed some delicious lunch.
Dave dug up a bunch of plant starters.

Head to visit #2. My parents.
My mom is in the hospital with bronchitis right now, so we headed there.
While visiting in the hospital, the little man hit his head on some metal trim and got a decent little gash.
It wasn’t quite ER worthy, but definitely needed looked at.

Visit #3. Urgent care.
Such a brave little guy. 2 staples. No crying.

Visit #4. Walgreens for some motrin, ice cream drumsticks and paper towels.

We hit the road again and head back south.
Pick up some Wendy’s for dinner and head to my Grandma’s for visit #5.

Head home.
Unload the car.
Get the kids in the shower and to bed.
Dave heads out to plant the starters.
I hit the treadmill for 15 minutes.
Listening to my ipod and watching a muted pie making contest on foodnetwork.
Gotta try to catch something ;)

Sit down to blog.

I hear Dave putting away dishes, and I’d bet just about anything there is a load of laundry to be folded. And more in the dryer im sure.

Bedtime will be welcome.

Here's to all the Moms!!


happy mother's day

lilly took this little gift in to her teacher on Friday.
instead of a card, she just wrote right on the plastic covering of a cute notepad.
(that was my idea, writing on the notepad packaging). 
see... sometimes i do think of creative things on my own.
(not usually though...)
(keep reading.)
inside the bag, along with the notepad, was a necklace that i made.
yes, ive taken on another craft.
see, not really my idea... just an awesome idea borrowed :)

this one went to the mom of the little lady i watch...
and this one to the mom of the little guy i watch :)
i had so much fun making them!
and attempting to take 'good enough' pics of them.
photographing jewelry is a bit tricky.

i will make one for myself sooner or later.
but for now, this Mother's Day piece will do.
in fact, it will do very well :)
Happy Mother's Day!



cohen: mommy, i want those!
(excitedly pointing at some fluorescent pink factory made whoopie pie type things in a plastic container at Kroger this afternoon)

me: cohen. if mommy is going to eat junk food, i want something i make. something yummy and homemade and delicious. not those ones.

cohen: mommy no eat. me and daddy eat.

(foodnetwork photo)


end of the thread

some things make my heart pound.

like working on an order...
...and praying that i have enough thread to make it to the end.
funny how that is so symbolic to my everyday life.
working on things and praying that i have enough in me.
i always seem to make it.

and i can always buy more thread.



a gopher's been in my yard.
a really big one.
or maybe it's a bobcat.
or maybe it's just daddy playing with a really big drill.
yep. just daddy.
digging lots of holes in the backyard.
day one of screened in porch construction :)

many days to go...
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