Wednesday, September 24, 2014

On Our Plates: Mama Rita-sita-pita's Cheeseball

One of Mommy's dear college friends, Kristin, is getting married this Saturday. Kristin is the most caring, attentive, and generous friend you could ever ask for...bonus: she's a Xavier grad, and therefore, brilliant. 
Aaron has no idea how lucky he is. So excited for her! And him! So excited to see the rest of the Xavier girls! 
In honor of the upcoming nuptials, we offer you a recipe. Kristin's mom, living more than a hundred miles away, always made sure we were having fun in school. Providing a delicious cheeseball was among the greatest of her contributions.
Mama Rita-sita-pita's Cheeseball

2 - 8 oz blocks cream cheese
1 jar Old English Cheese
2 T. blue cheese
1 (VERY!) small purple onion, finely chopped
1 bag chopped pecans

Let cream cheese soften. Mix all ingredients together except pecans with an electric mixer. Form into a ball and cover in pecan pieces (the more the merrier). Serve with Wheat Thins and Triscuits.
Eat it and dream of the college days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Sunglasses House

Last week we took our family vacation. We like to get away...a lot. Yeah, we went to Toronto for the wedding (Parts One Two and Three...if you want to re-live it). And we just got back from Chicago. (Ok, Mommy and Daddy were at the dunes twice this summer.) And there was our time in Ottawa during the winter. And maybe a couple of other little getaways - like this day in Toledo. (How Felicity's hair has grown!) Also, it's possible (probable) we have more travel on the books before the year is over. Mommy and Daddy have always had a travel bug living in their pockets and having children apparently didn't squash it.
Can't keep them out of the sand. Not even trying...
But on to the vacation recap! We went to Oak Island, North Carolina. It was about 20 degrees warmer than home. In our rental a block from the beach, we were able to just sit back and reeeeelax. Our days went something like this: wake up, eat breakfast, drink coffee on the deck while the girls played and Felicity took her morning nap, eat lunch, hit the beach for a few hours, back to the rental to clean up and get the girls down for a nap, parents relax with adult beverages until children are freed from napprison, off to explore the town or more time on the beach until supper, then more playing until bedtime. We had nothing on our agenda and really just tried to enjoy each others company...we also really enjoyed the cable TV. Disney Junior for the girls and HGTV for parents.

In ANNNNNNY know what's coming. A whole bunch of pictures to peruse. Diving right in...daily entertainment: family walks morning, noon, and night
[Short story about the beach at was covered in crabs. We did manage to see a bigger one with a flashlight and then suddenly it was gone. We were stunned at how fast it could move-like the wind just carried it away.]
crafts we brought along (thanks, Jill!!)
 swinging in the hammock
playing at the park
and keeping up the general messiness.
Looks just like home.
We also took some time to check out the Oak Island Lighthouse. It's one of the brightest in the world!
Mommy got a little carried away collecting oyster shells on the much mother of pearl. So little time. But these are treasures that were inspiring craftiness! She couldn't stop, Tim didn't fight it, and quite a nice pile made it home.
And we indulged. The island was strange because most of the restaurants were only open from 4 PM to 9 PM everyday. We're still wondering how these places make it on such a small window of money making time. But we weren't in town to think, just relax. We relaxed with donuts...
turtle cheesecake...
and ice are aware it is illegal to go on vacation without eating ice cream. At least in Tim's family.
Ice cream delivery!
As a bonus, Tim's parents, Aunt Sue, and Uncle Ron were vacation an hour south of us at Myrtle Beach!
Despite what the expressions below are saying, we were happy to see them.
Somehow Aunt Sue and Nana got roped into miniature golfing with us. It made them feel like this: 
But Sue is a great golfer and Miriam got free lessons...her first stroke of all time was a hole in one!
When it was time to head home, we were ready. All relaxed, eager to sleep in our own beds, but a little sad to say goodbye to the beach.
Surely we'll be back...if the bug has anything to say about it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

They don't call 'em Great for nothin'

We took an overnight trip to the Indiana Dunes and Chicago last week. Thursday, on the beach, we had the perfect weather and the place to ourselves. A Great Lake. All for us.
 The water was a little cold, but it didn't stop the girls from plunging right in.
You know what's awesome about sunscreen and water? They really help that sand to STICK to your body. Sand bath, if you will.
Gritty, yet satisfying.
Miriam spent her time at the beach playing with drift wood, stones, and shells and digging holes in the sand.
Felicity liked the sand...but her favorite were the seagulls that she chased...
and chased and chased as she yelled, "PUPPY!"
She never was able to catch one. But they liked to hang out near her in hopes of a dropped snack.
Vivian revealed how tactile she is. She drops her whole body in the sand, rolls stones through her fingers, splashes through the water like a baby fish. Tim and Sarah decided they need to get a sheep skin rug for the this girl. It would be her dream come true.
That night we slept in a hotel. Hotel sleeping is never great for our family. The girls are just too excited about being somewhere different to actually sleep. Friday we spent the day at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. A lot of the exhibits were a little over the girls head, but they still had so much fun.
Felicity behind the wheel of a full size tractor.
A German Sub that was captured during WWII and now live underground at the museum. The girls were in AWE.
A human hamster.
Two tired little girls barely made it out of the parking garage before passing out.
For supper we met up with Aunt Bridget's fiance, Ryan the Silliest, for some Chicago style pizza. We'd never want to live in the Windy City (we love our small town too much!) but it is always fun to visit!