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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Simple Abundance - May

Since this was so popular last month, I thought I'd include some monthly ideas for May from the book "Simple Abundance". Pick one or two and Happy May!

>>On May Day, hang a basket of flowers on your front door and your next-door neighbor’s. A breathtaking May bouquet can be created with small stems of pink dogwood blossoms, lilacs, and white peony tulips.

>>Tackle just one junk drawer.

>>One Saturday afternoon after cleaning, putter for an hour to your favorite music. Rearrange your favorite collection of personal mementos and pictures. Savor the sweet memories. Enjoy traveling back in time in your mind.

>>Rent old movies from the 1930s and 1940s or flip through the cable channels looking for old-fashioned treasures. Look for domestic details, the trim of upholstery, the curtains, the knickknacks in the kitchen. Consider why these charming, cozy sets draw us in to stay a while.

>>Take pictures off a wall and clear tabletops and mantels for one week to experience “the fullness of nothing”. What do you want to put back?

>>If you have a cherished collection, do you display it? Think of new ways to surround yourself with the things you love.

>>Dust off the grill, make potato salad, and get out your white shoes for Memorial Day weekend.

>>Be happy.

>>Be grateful.

The Amaretto Sour

Yum. Now this is my kind of cocktail.

Amaretto is a sweet almond flavored liqueur originally from Italy. It is made from a base of apricot and almond pits. It became especially popular in the 1970s in the United States after Disarrono Amaretto became widely available. I talked about this cocktail when we made the Whiskey Sour in January. Every recipe that I found for the Amaretto Sour called for Sweet & Sour Mix. I thought I didn't like this mix, but found out that it must have been the brand. This one was OK.

Now, for those of you who like your drinks as close to the grain as you can get them, this is not the drink for you. Those of us who prefer not tasting the alcohol, I highly recommend the Amaretto Sour.

David liked the cocktail but did think it was too sweet. His actual words were that it needed more Vodka. Confusing since there is no Vodka in this drink!

David's Swizzle Stick Ratings:
4 Swizzle Sticks

The Amaretto Sour - 3 oz. Sweet and Sour mix, 1.5 oz. Amaretto. Pour over wet ice in an Old Fashioned or a Tom Collins cocktail glass. Swizzle and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Christopher is Getting Married!

Young, isn't he? Actually, this is a young Christopher at our wedding 16 years ago.

Here he is with his family - on the far right.

And with the boys - in the middle.

We're so excited for Christopher and Amanda! Congratulations!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Beautiful Saturday - Chihuhlys, Bagpipes, Bistro 310, and the Water Hose

While David was working on the pool and painting two decks, the boys and I did a bunch of stuff around town.

One stop we made was to the Visitor's Center to see the bagpipes. But first we had to check out the Chihulys inside the Center. The one above is one of my favorites - locally known as the "banana bunch".
Another set of Chihulys.

From the outside.

Architectural Tour Bus about to leave

Inside the Visitor's Center. Thomas gave Brennan and me the official tour since he knows it so well. His school is next door and they have been to the Visitor's Center for their community-based projects.

The bagpipe and drum ensemble was back from break so we stayed and listened to them play for awhile. Brennan was especially impressed and got a chance to study a bagpipe up close.

Then we headed to Bistro 310 to help our friends Jeff and Robin get ready for the opening next weekend. The Bistro was in the Commons Mall but that was torn down a year ago and the new Commons will be built soon (Save the Commons!). The new restaurant is going to be really great. The boys and I helped clean up. They are great at cleaning table legs, baseboards, and moving empty boxes. Here Chef Jeff is working with Brennan on the napkin fold design.

Since the pool is green (yes, I said green) the boys entertained themselves with a garden hose and the recycling container. The sunshine and warm temps were great! It was really a beautiful day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Laurie!

Happy Birthday, Laurie! Enjoy your special day and enjoy that Georgia sunshine!

I miss you!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CSA Science Fair 2009

We attended the Science Fair at Thomas's school last night. Isn't he proud?

No one was more excited about this Science Fair than Daddy, though. He and Thomas worked hard on the project: Electrical Resistance of Liquids. They tested 10 different liquids to determine which ones conducted electricity the best.

These two are sooooo much alike.

Thomas enjoyed explaining his project to students who stopped by.

Thomas and his classmate Brendan.

Everyone received a Participant Ribbon in the 3rd grade - they didn't give out 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Thomas was fine with this. I'm not sure David was :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Time in Indiana, Finally

Brennan and buddy Haley, having a picnic on the rock in the front yard

The weeping cherry in our front yard

Our Anne Magnolia - we planted it in October 2007. It's the first year it has bloomed!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't Be Scared...

Isn't this a great face painting job? Brennan is a tiger and Thomas is a dinosaur.

We attended the open house for Cummins' new office building downtown. It is a beautiful building and we had a great time at the event. David had to work the open house but the boys and I just enjoyed. They had a great turnout.

For the kids, they had Cummins employees from China and India who would write the kids' names in Hindi, Tamil, and Mandarin. They also had a table where another employee taught the kids how to use chopsticks. They practiced picking up M-n-M's and putting them in a cup. They got to keep and eat all the candies they were able to pick up. And a cool balloon guy and face painter.

I wish I had pictures of the new building, but didn't take my camera to the event. It's really pretty though and the Real Estate group did a great job at the Open House.

Grandparents and Grandkids

Thomas (8), Grandpa Laroy, Danielle (2), Grandma Nan, Natalie (5), and Brennan (7)

When we were in Mississippi in March, my sister Shelly had a great idea to get the grandparents and kids together for an MSU picture. The kids had a great time at the photo shoot.

I love this shot of the boys.

After all the good shots were done, the photographer told us we had 2 more, so we let the boys get a little silly.

These will be good to slip in at their weddings, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Amy!

At mine and David's wedding 1992

A big happy birthday to one of my dearest friends in the whole wide world. Amy is 29 (again!) and enjoying a Spring Break birthday week, lucky girl.

Planet Hollywood Chicago, with Harrison Ford's handprints

Amy and Sam's wedding, 1999

UGA with Dee and Phil 1993

Amy and her niece

Love you!

The Appletini and the Rumpletini

It's not often that I find a drink that both David and I really like. Usually one of us likes it and the other doesn't. Here is a rare case where both of us would be happy to pass on the Appletini and Rumpletini.

A friend mentioned she really enjoyed Appletinis from Applebee's which includes Applepucker. It is bright green like Midori, and tastes like an apple Jolly Rancher. I decided to look into the original Appletini for Easter.

I could not find much history on the Appletini or the variant - the Rumpletini. Only that they became popular in the 1980's in the United States.

Again, David and I are not fans. He thought it was too sweet, and I would have to disagree. It wasn't sweet at all to me - too strong. We obviously have very different tastes! My friends sipped these drinks at our Easter lunch. I doubt they'd order one in a restaurant, but they were able to drink the cocktails over an hour or so. I doubt I could have. Wow - very strong.

David's Swizzle Stick Ratings:
Appletini - 2 Swizzle Sticks
Rumpletini - 2 Swizzle Sticks

The Appletini - 3 oz. Vodka, 1 oz. Apple Schnapps, 1 oz. Triple Sec. Mix with crushed ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled Martini cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of apple.

The Rumpletini - same directions as above. Replace 3 oz. Vodka with 3 oz. Light Rum.

I might have to try the Apple Pucker version instead!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

Before church Sunday Morning

The 1st and 2nd graders after their Easter Egg Hunt at church. It took David 20 minutes to hide the eggs, but it took these smart kids only 2 minutes to find them all.

We hosted the Borowskis and the Towsleys for lunch. I pulled out my china - I haven't used it for YEARS.

The kids' table (before)

Hungry and ready for the Easter Egg Hunt!

We had a wonderful meal and the kids really enjoyed playing together. The highlight of the afternoon was the 540+ egg Easter egg hunt.

The dads did a great job hiding all those eggs.

And then the sorting and bartering began!

Hope you had a wonderful day as well!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

5K and Tae Kwan Do

This morning I did a 5K walk and then David brought the boys out and they participated in their first Fun Run. The were in the "big kids" division. Brennan wore himself out before the race by running all around. He also "got ready" this morning by getting on our treadmill and promptly jogging 3/10 of a mile barefoot, without breaking a sweat. I don't think the boys have ever run before, other than just on the playground. I think Brennan would be good at it.

And Thomas would too if the run was standing between him and an Easter Egg Hunt like it was today.
The kids had fun collecting eggs and a goody bag for participating in the run.

This afternoon David and Thomas earned their blue tip in Tae Kwan Do testing. It's the point in between Green and Blue Belts. David broke his board on the first try of his roundhouse kick. He declined a photo, but we're proud of him nonetheless.
Thomas is very, very proud of himself!! Check out that board he broke!

Happy Easter!

Meyer Lemons part 2

I'm still learning about blogging. I hit ENTER when I was adding the labels for the post, which posts the blog automatically. I had to fix something and add the pictures.

It started when my friend Elizabeth went on her annual January long weekend to Florida to visit her grandparents. She brought back some wonderful Meyer lemons from their backyard tree. They are so juicy and so sweet. I had never heard of them. You could eat them straight, like an orange.

Then my old friend, and blog-inspiration, Scott wrote a post about his indoor/outdoor Meyer lemon tree. Coincidence? I think not. It was fate. A few weeks later I ordered a Meyer lemon tree from amazon and it arrived Thursday. David, just shaking his head and going along for the ride as always, got busy helping me plant.

We got a dwarf Meyer lemon tree that needs tons of sun. We plan to put it out on the deck once the frosts are behind us (soon, I hope!) The boys and I have named him "Sprite". Sprite is made of lemon-lime, sprites are small, and Sprite is the only soft drink the boys are allowed to drink, on occasion.

Dwarf Meyers need lots of drainage so we started with a plastic dish with pebbles, and then planted Sprite in a large plastic container with more pebbles for drainage. He looks great in a decorative maceta (Mexican pot) for now. Can't wait for him to start blooming, but I understand it could be a year.

But aren't his blooms pretty?