Monday, August 30, 2010


I noticed on Facebook last week that my friend Sara had done some peaches - not canned, but ready for the freezer instead. Canning is still a little intimidating for me (I did applesauce once but in my mother-in-law's kitchen - I'm not ready to go solo yet!). I have done strawberry freezer jam before so I figured I could handle freezer peaches.

I picked up 1/2 bushel of peaches from Well's Orchard on Friday (I've heard they are the best - $16 and there were about 60 peaches in there). I let them sit out for a couple of days and yesterday, I got through about 2/3 of those. Here are the directions I used in case you want to give it a try.

The peeling wasn't too bad. Here's the method I used: Dip the fruit in boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds. Remove peaches from the boiling water using a slotted spoon and put into a large bowl or pot of cold water and ice for several minutes. The skins came off pretty easily after that.

Here are the directions Sara sent me:

1) Peel the skin with a sharp paring knife and all the yukky part that clings to the stone or pit.

2) Cut into bite size pieces and place into 1 qt glass measuring container.

3) Once you have one full quart, transfer to large plastic bowl so you can mix it around.

4) Add 1 TBSP fruit fresh (keeps from browning and stays fresher, longer) and anywhere from 1/4 up to 2/3 cup of sugar... depending on your taste.

5) Let it sit and "marinade" in the mixture for about 10 minutes. (This is when I get back to peeling and pitting again. A long process but you will appreciate it in the end.)

6) Pour mixture into freezer containers. Make sure you don't fill too full as they will expand during freezing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cookin' with The Katie's (+ The Crazies)

My *amazing* sister-in-law/BFF has been coming over on Wednesday nights to keep me company (both of our hubby's work late - one of the many joys of the car business) and help out with The Crazies. A few weeks ago, we decided that we should start making dinner together as well - she comes up with a recipe each week, I buy the ingredients, and off we go.

This week we made Chicken Artichoke Pizza and it was pretty amazing. It was also pretty easy which is always a good thing. As an added bonus, the kids gobbled it right up.

Chicken Artichoke Pizza (makes 2 pizzas)
1 pkg. Mama Mary's thin crust pizza crusts
Olive oil to mist crusts
4 to 5 C cooked chicken, diced
1 C mayo (not salad dressing)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 (14 oz.) can artichokes, finely diced
1 C Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 C Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 (4.5 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained

Preheat oven to 450. Place crusts on baking sheet and mist with olive oil. Set aside. In medium size bowl, combine chicken and remaining ingredients. Spread 1 /2 chicken mixture on each crust. Reduce oven temperature to 425. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

*Notes: The olives and mushrooms are optional - we skipped the olives and only put mushrooms on one of the pizzas. You could use fresh if you wanted. We used a can of portabello mushrooms. Also, we probably only used about 3 cups of chicken between the two pizzas and that was plenty.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

our little doll

This is what happens when you have a big sister who loves baby dolls. This picture was taken back in June but I just figured out how to get it off of Matt's phone. For the record, I find this photo both creepy and cute.

Traverse City

We spent a long weekend in Traverse City this past weekend. We stayed at The Great Wolf Lodge so a lot of our time was spent there at the indoor water park. We also tooled around downtown TC, explored Mission Point, celebrated my birthday at The Jolly Pumpkin, and swam in the bay. Beautiful town and great company - love my family! [click on the collage if you want to see it larger]


I have been inspired by my friend Theresa (and her friend Sara) to start a picture of the day blog. I am not a fantastic photographer but that's not really the point - I am intrigued by the idea of capturing our daily life and the bigger world around us, one photo at a time. I'm only a few posts into this, but it's fun to wake-up each morning and think of the day ahead or to reflect on the previous 14 hours at day's end. It helps me to look at life differently; oftentimes (most of the time) life is not found in the grand gestures but in the small things, the simple things, and the humorous things. Without further ado, I present terpblog365.

(P.S. If this inspires any of you to start your own, please pass on the link!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mady's on the move!

Mady is really moving now! She especially likes to crawl into the little forts that Dylan and Ella build around the house. Love her grin here as she gets a bear hug from Dylan. Little Miss Trouble's other favorite pastimes? Dumping out the big crayon box, playing with the computer cords under the desk, and pulling wipes out of the package one by one.

kids & cars

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mady's Dedication

Dear Madelyn Mae,

Words cannot express how precious you are to us. We remember the moment we found out we were expecting you and the moment we found out we were having a baby girl – a baby princess, a Daughter of a Heavenly King. You are a gift from God and we are so honored to have been entrusted with you as our child.

Our desire for you is that glimpses of Jesus will be all around you, every day, wherever you look. We want you to see Jesus when you look at the trees and feel the wind blow and experience every part of nature. We hope you will understand true community as you watch and interact with and are loved by your family and our friends. And we pray you will be reminded of His love for the church as you watch Mommy and Daddy interact and love each other.

We are committed to providing a safe, loving environment for you as you grow. Mommy and Daddy are deeply committed to each other and with God’s help we will always stand by that commitment. We will pray with you and for you – this is one of the greatest gifts we can give you as your parents. We promise to always love you without any conditions – we love you simply because you are YOU. We will discipline you and provide boundaries for you as you grow and we will do these things because we love you so deeply. You will hear the words, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” in our home.

Mady – we will do everything we can to raise you up in a way that honors God. Our deepest desire for you is that you will grow to love Jesus – in Him you will find perfect love, peace, joy and comfort.

God has an amazing plan for your life. We cannot wait to see what He has in store for you. Someday we will tell you about all the people that filled the room on your dedication day – you are truly surrounded by people who love you and are rooting for you.

We love you so much, Peanut.

Mommy & Daddy

small group, summer '10

Yesterday we were all together in one place with all the kiddos so we grabbed a neighbor and took the latest and greatest small group shot (for those of you who like to reminisce, click here). In the past year, we have added a couple and had a couple bow out and we've added two new babies. We are up to 11 kids and one couple is expecting a little one from Korea (hoping for a referral early next year) - after that, no promises for more, because no one is volunteering to have the next baby!

Last night as an impromptu soccer game popped up in our front yard on one of the nicest nights of the summer, it hit me - I think these are the good old days.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

We are approaching the start of my 31st Annual Birthday Week (other people are happy celebrating one day each year - I prefer an entire week). I just helped Matt out and ordered my birthday present this year and I'm pretty excited. I've been looking at these for almost a year and I finally pulled the trigger. I know there are multiple shops out there that do this sort of thing but I settled on The Vintage Pearl - seems like a nice family owned shop with cute stuff (they even agreed to put my kids names on the necklace and add an extra flower for Mady ;) ) This is not a paid advertisement by the way, I'm just excited, and thought I would share. Thinking they would make a pretty cool gift for others too especially for a first-time mom.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Currently Reading: Bible Story Books

I have been trying to make a conscious effort to surround my kids with Bible stories and verses lately. A couple of weeks ago we had a really rough week and I thought to myself, "These kids need more Jesus in them!" Since then we have learned a few memory verses together and read a whole lot of stories. Here are a few of my favorite children's books that I thought I would pass along.

The Jesus Story Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name - we received this as a gift through Dylan's preschool and I love the way this one tells the Bible in the framework of one great story - very intriguing to little ones and cool artwork too!

Read Aloud Bible Stories
- there are actually 4 or 5 books in this series. Each book has 4-5 stories in it and it's a larger coffee table sized book. These books were given to us by Nana T. I still remember reading the Easter story to Ella for the first time and then having her repeat back the entire story almost word for word - this author does an amazing job retelling Bible stories in a simplistic and repetitive yet beautiful way.

Five Minute Devotions for Children - I heard about this book during a MOPS meeting last year and I just received it from the other day. This book is great for 3-4-5 year olds as each devotion describes an animal and how it was created by God and then relates it to a child's life. My kids wanted to read straight through the book in one sitting. (Note: I searched high and low for this book and finally ordered it on-line; yesterday I was at Target and turned around and there it was! So check Target first!)

Since I have been more intentional about reading Bible stories to the kids and learning verses together and talking about what it all means, I do believe there has been more peace in our house. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the day to day business of life. It is a constant battle to slow down, listen, get down on the floor, and remember to hold each of my kids close every day. We are far from perfect, but the moments I have shared with my kids these past few weeks have been priceless.

Coast Guard '10

Coast Guard weekend is always one of the most fun weekends of the summer. For the past couple of summers, we have packed up the family and stayed at our friend's parents' house in Spring Lake along with some other friends. It's always a little hectic with so many little ones running around but the pool is beautiful and we always enjoy the parade on Saturday. We are blessed by an amazing community of friends - it's a riot watching the kids play and interact together!

Ava & Mady - 3 months apart!

Ella LOVES spending time with Aunt Katie

Dylan has turned into quite the swimmer this summer!

Mady is a water-loving baby.

The boys take a break from an intense game of water b-ball.

Dylan & Ella at the parade.

Dear friends.

Some of the kids :)

Oh, Zoe. This picture just makes me laugh so I had to include it.

Until next year!
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