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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oh, that Prince William

My London friend Lisa {waves - hi Lisa!} sent me this link for the blog. She loves Prince William and has mentioned several times that Thomas is very much like him, personality wise. Hmm. I can see it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/8045654.stm

What a sweet boy he is. I can only imagine what my grandmother would do if Prince William walked into HER nursing home!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ceraland for the Day


Thomas's school went to Ceraland yesterday for a field day. He asked David to go with the class and they had a GREAT time.

The went out on row boats, paddle boats, played putt-putt, tennis, tossed the frisbee and the football, went to the playground, and I don't know what all else. David took this shot with his phone of Thomas rowing. I think this was his first row boat experience.

Thomas also took his camera, but he must have not taken it out of the car because the only pictures are of various shots of himself (close up, far away, eyeball shot, of his knees...) and the beautiful sky.


Pilgrims


The actual theme of the graduation party that we attended on Saturday was "Pilgrims returning to the old world" as our friends returned from Boston to Indiana. We were asked to wear Pilgrim Attire. I immediately went online and ordered these pilgrim hats and beards more than 2 weeks in advance. But the best laid plans of mice and men...

So they arrived today! So if anyone else wants to throw a pilgrim party, I'm ready...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Spring School Pictures 2009

Here the kids have two school photos each year. These are from the spring.

Brennan - 1st grade

Thomas - 3rd grade

Yo Yo


There is nothing that makes us smile faster this weekend than this photo.

It's from the boys' Hip Hop class. Their recital is coming up in early June. This is their first dance class (and probably only). They really loved it.

Graduation Party 2009

On Saturday we attended our friend's Ph.D. graduation with a good old fashioned East Coast clam bake. Amazing cake that Elise made.

A serious game of 4 Square.


I see you kids.


Nothing more fun than a playground tree house.


Brennan on the swings


A much needed hot dog after all that 4 Square.



Watching over the clam bake






The delicious food.


Congratulations Fosters! And welcome back to town!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Piano Recital May 2009

Thomas and Brennan had their Spring Piano Recital Monday evening. We were so excited that Grandma and Grandpa Rushing were able to visit us! We had a really good time this weekend. The boys LOVED it that they went to their schools to pick them up, went to church with us, and attended their recital (along with the post recital ice cream treat).

Grandma Nan and Granpda Laroy

The players

Now on to the piano pieces. It was a little bit strange because the boys decided to play a duet in addition to their individual pieces. Brennan was first and did not bow after his performance because he had to go back to his seat and wait for Thomas to play before going back up for the duet. They did beautifully. I obviously DID NOT do beautifully with these videos. Chalk it up to trying to "direct", clap, keep eye contact with Brennan when he needed it, and film all at the same time.

We were so proud of them. They practiced hard and did well.

Here is Brennan playing "Willum" in D Minor. I cut off the beginning of his piece.
video

And Thomas playing "Alouette" in F Major.
video

And the boys playing Rain Dance/Iona. Brennan played the chords and melody - this is actually a 2nd year song but he chose it and had to learn it. Thomas provided the drum beats.
video

In addition to church and the piano recital, we enjoyed a number of other activities with Grandma and Grandpa. We went to Ceraland and played 18 holes of putt putt, had two yummy meals at Bistro 310 and The Fork for brunch, visited the outlet mall, and saw "Angels and Demons". We spent a lot of time outside on Sunday - it was really beautiful. Unfortunately pretty chilly off and on and we weren't able to swim. But it was so great to have visitors.

We miss you already! See you next month!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

YouTube Clip-of-the-Week

I LOVE THIS! For some reason, my eyes well up with tears when I see this.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Rob Roy



Jeanne MacGregor, this one is for you since Rob Roy is an ancestor of yours. Warning - I'm not sure you want to order one of these.

Those of you following my Bartending Year on our family blog know that any time David gives something 5 Swizzle Sticks - it's doubtful I'm going to enjoy it. The trend continues.

David very much enjoyed the Rob Roy. And, why not? It's similar to the Manhattan. As with the Manhattan, there are variants of the Rob Roy. A Dry Rob Roy is made with Dry Vermouth. A Perfect Rob Roy is made with equal parts Sweet and Dry Vermouth. I went with the classic.

Rob Roy was a Scottish folk hero and outlaw in the 18th century. His story was fleshed out in Sir Walter Scott's "Rob Roy", published in 1807. Recently Liam Neesom played him in the movie. Rob Roy was from Clan MacGregor and is buried on the shore of Loch Katrine in Scotland.

I could not find any references to the origins of this cocktail. But it's generally assumed it was first mixed and named in the 1940s. It is named after Rob Roy because of his red hair and Scotch heritage.

David's Swizzle Stick Ratings
The Rob Roy - 5 Swizzle Sticks

Rob Roy - Scotch Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura Bitters. Add the Scotch, Vermouth, and a dash of Angostura Bitters to an Old Fashioned cocktail glass. Swizzle and fill with a mix of cubed and crushed ice.

I used Dewar's Scotch because we had it and David said, "oh it's fine if it's going in a mixed drink", but I understand from my Scotch expert, that Johnnie Walker Red or Black label is definitely preferred.

Yes, I sipped. I'm not sure my esophagus has forgiven me.

Thomas's Race at Mill Race Park

Thomas participated in the Elementary Fitness Run yesterday. It was his first year. He ran a half mile, having never trained for this or practiced. He did great!


3rd and 4th graders lined up at the starting/finish line.


And they're off!


Thomas crossing the finish line! You know it took a lot out of him because he wasn't interested in the post-race hot dogs, lemonade, chocolate chip cookies, or Doritos. He just wanted water.


Showing off on the playground after the race.

We really love Mill Race Park. After the race we walked around the park before heading back to the car.

The playground


The two-sided amphitheater and watch tower.


Side view of Round Lake. These pictures just don't do the park justice.


Round Lake and the covered bridge

Happy Mother's Day!


To my own Mommy and all the others I know and love, have a wonderful, wonderful day today.

The boys are going to cook breakfast for me so mine is starting off very well!

Stinkers. Christmas 2007. Had to have their creepy crawlies in the photo shoot. Classic Thomas and Brennan.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Buddies

Brennan and Justin (both age 7) at Freedom Park. They are good friends and have a great time playing together after school a couple of times a week.

And isn't Miss Leslee's new phone awesome? She took this photo with it!

Walk-a-Thon

Thomas's school held their Walk-a-Thon yesterday and I volunteered for a couple of hours. Luckily, the rain wasn't an issue. The 3rd graders walked/ran 1.5 miles around the track and then played a number of games including The Limbo. Here's Thomas participating. Good thing I had my phone - I always forget the camera at these events!

My job was to mist the kids with a spray bottle as they went past me. They loved that, of course. The event culminated in water bottles and popcicles for everyone. They really had a blast and I could tell the teachers thought running some of this spring fever energy off was a great way for the students to spend an afternoon!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dinner Party

Arturo with his dessert of choice - Worms in Dirt. It was a HUGE hit with the kids.

We had a fun dinner party Saturday night. It's been awhile since we entertained a big group. What was so amazing is how the 8 kids (ages 4-13) got along sooooo well and they'd never met before! Seriously, the 8 of us adults enjoyed a very nice dinner at the dining table while the kids played outside for way more than an hour without incident. It was a lot of fun.

I work with the dads - Arturo, Miles, and Matt. They're a really fun group and their wives are delightful. And their kids - so great.

Ramsey and Riley

Arturo and Thomas

Brendan and Brennan

The menu: salmon with pesto, filet mignon, black bean salad, mote (Ecuadorian hominy dish), salad, and some very delicious desserts. The kids enjoyed hot dogs, homemade macaroni and cheese, and baked beans.

I love this town because there are so many "transplants" - it's very easy to make friends because so many of us aren't from here. And there's an automatic kinship in being new to town.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Mint Julep

What a great photo, you say? Well, it's a stock photo - not my own. A number of people sent in requests for me to do a Mint Julep this past Derby weekend. I declined however.

I didn't make the Mint Juleps for a couple of reasons. I have made them before, and I REALLY don't like them.

However, for all those who so politely requested - The Mint Julep.

The history is fuzzy, but we do know the Mint Julep became popular at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC in the mid 1800's. Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the cocktail at the hotel. This is pretty similar to the Old Fashioned's history.

My friend Lorie and I hosted a Derby brunch when we lived in Mexico. We had some amazing food and served Mint Juleps. Unfortunately - who knew how strong these were?! I was glad we had a lot of iced tea to serve as well!

David didn't have a Swizzle Stick rating on The Mint Julep since we didn't make one this weekend, although I would guess a 4, given the ingredients and lack of sweetener, and the fact that I really don't like them!

The Mint Julep - 3 oz. Bourbon (Early Times is the Derby favorite), 6 sprigs of mint, granulated sugar. Place mint and sugar in a Julep Cup or a Tom Collins cocktail glass. Add shaved ice and muddle the mixture so that the leaves release their flavor. Add the Bourbon and a mixture of crushed and cubed ice. Mix well and garnish with mint.

Enjoy!

3/50 Project

A friend shared this website with me last week and I've taken a look at the project and talked about it with friends.

In this economy, small, locally-owned businesses are struggling to remain independent, offer the same good prices, and stay afloat. I especially appreciate local restaurants, local bookstores, and local farmer's markets, and can do my part to frequent local stores much more than I currently do.

Supporting my community - that Works for Me. For other tips, visit Kristen's site.

Gone Fishin'



Our friends Steve and Cheryl invited us out to go fishing and cookout yesterday. David took the boys and they had a wonderful time. I unfortunately worked all day, but was happy David took his phone to take some photos!