Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cider and fritters and dumplings, oh my!

It is now officially Fall (woohoo!!) and 'tis the season for APPLES! We took the kids to the Lebanon Apple Fest on Saturday and boy, was there some good food there! Apple fritters, dumplings, pies, cider, all kinds of delicious things. Ella and Cade were so excited to sample everything (and we were, too- I'm not gonna' lie! =). We came home with some great ideas for new fall desserts, plus a big ol' bag of McIntosh apples- yum! We had these wonderful apple dumplings at the festival. They were made from whole apples wrapped with a flaky crust and baked with all kinds of spices. Definitely my favorite of the day. I couldn't wait to try my hand at them. I didn't have a recipe to follow, so I improvised. I peeled and cored the apples, rolled them in a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar, and wrapped them in a simple butter pie crust. I baked them until the crust looked crispy, about 35-40 minutes, and voila! A new fall fave! Absolutely delicious!!And because it's the appropriate post for it, I'm also going to share my new favorite apple crisp recipe. I have a few similar recipes that I love, but they all take a bit longer to put together. This one is so quick (which is super important these days!) and just as yummy. Ella helped me put it together last week as we talked about Johnny Appleseed's upcoming birthday. She couldn't resist a taste test. =) Placing the apples very carefully... I don't have a picture of the finished product. You've just gotta trust me on this one! =)
Spiced Apple Crisp

4-5 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c white sugar

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c flour
1 c quick cook oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
4 T cold butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss apples with cinnamon and sugar. Place in a small, greased casserole dish. Mix together remaining dry ingredients, then cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Pour over apples and bake for 40-45 minutes, until top is brown and crispy. Delish!

Happy apple baking!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

My sob story

I'm a little heavy-hearted today. A bit of an emotional mess to be exact. I go back to work this weekend, and it's hitting me harder than I thought it would. For several weeks after Harper's arrival, I was prepared to go back to work every weekend. I just didn't know any different. The time off has spoiled me, I guess, and now that the time is actually here, I'm not as ready as I thought.
I know what people say, that I only work part-time, just 26-28 hrs a week, so what's the big deal? The big deal is that I have gotten up with Harper in the middle of every, single night of her 11-week life. I have been here every, single morning when she woke up. Prior to that, I carried her inside of me for 37 weeks. That means she has been with me everyday for the last 343 days. The thought of being away from her makes me sad. You mommies out there will understand.
Apart from the emotional aspect, I'm not looking forward to going back to the flip-flop sleeping routine- being a day-shifter through the week and a night-shifter on the weekends. That's hard on a momma. To be honest, I'm not sure how I'm going to stay awake all night long, much less be on my A-game the whole time! I don't think I've been awake past midnight save a handful of days the whole time I've been off. Fingers are crossed it's like riding a bike, and it will all come back to me.
So that's my sob story for the day. Thanks for bearing with me. My house is messy, my floors are sticky, and there are dishes piled in my sink. However, I spent my afternoon hanging out with my big kids and loving on my baby, because I just couldn't bring myself to do anything else.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Random fun pics

As I was going through pictures on our camera, I found all kinds of fun ones that had never been posted, so here they are in this random post. Near the end of summer, Chris and I took the kids to the Butler County Fair. We rode rides, ate fair food, and did a lot of people watching. One thing we learned- the fair and carnies are the same no matter where you live. haha! Ella and Cade on an airplane ride... They both were so excited after coming down the huge wave slide. This is probably one of my fave pics of the summer. Ella loved her some cotton candy! The day before school started, we took the kids to the Cincinnati Zoo. It was a Monday, so there was hardly anyone else there, plus it was a beautiful day for it. We had a blast!We watched the elephants for a long time. Ella and Cade couldn't believe how big they were. Ella got to pet a skink. Cade was too chicken. =) We also loved watching the gorillas. They were huge!! See the zebra through the trees? Ella wanted one in front of it and this was the best we could get. The manatees were amazing! We had a lot of fun that day. Ella couldn't believe that some people actually have jobs at the zoo and get to be with the animals all the time. Possible future summer job for our little animal lover? =) A few days ago, we headed up to Voice of America Park and spent our afternoon walking around the lake. Ella and Cade wore themselves out on their scooters. Daddy took a ride while Cade did some running. =) Then Cade got a ride. Tough life! ha! Love this one. Taking a break to watch the fish jump...
I've so enjoyed all our outdoor days this summer, but I'm loving these fall temps and looking forward to all the fun this new season brings!

Not to leave out Harper

Because Harper snoozed right through most of the pics over the weekend (hey, a girl needs her beauty sleep, right?), I thought I would post a few of her in her wedding attire. Other than her big sis (and the bride, of course), she was the prettiest girl there. =) This picture captures Harper almost perfectly. Those bright eyes are just waiting to see what's going to happen next and that rosy mouth is ready at any moment to break into a grin. I can tell just by the look on her face that her plump, little legs are kicking away! =) Love this girl so much!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Congrats, Kyle & Kellie!

Saturday was a special day! Kyle and Kellie tied the knot and Chris and I gained a new sister! Woohoo!! We couldn't be happier for them and were so honored to be part of their wedding day. Here are a few of my favorites from the weekend. Congrats, you two!! We love you both so much and wish you many, many years of happiness!