Archive | March, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Sophia Joyfuls

30 Mar

Sophia is such a joy to everyone she comes into contact with.

She had a reputation when we were living in seminary  housing of being a therapy baby.  If someone was having a hard day or just needed a little pick-me-up, they would come over to our apartment and Sophia would give the person a huge hug around the neck.

She has a smile that can light up a room and has therefore got the nickname Sophia Joyfuls.

She just turned 2 years old!  Can you believe it?  I sure can’t.

I was browsing through pictures of her as a newborn and if I wasn’t her own mother, I would think she was not the same person.  She looks so different from when she was born to today.  She was born with jet-black hair that would always form into a spike in the middle.  She was a calm and relaxed baby.  We thought that Aleah would be our intense child and that Sophi would be our easygoing second child.

Although she still is pretty easy to get along with, Sophi is constantly in motion.  She does not know how to walk, she skips or gallops everywhere she goes.

She brings immense joy to our life and we are so thankful for her.

Here are some pictures of the party we had for her yesterday:

The girls help with quality control and taste testing:

kale salad

mocha brownies with whipped cream and chocolate chip icing

cupcakes dipped on chocolate icing

Some toasted nuts for the salad and a super cute  birthday girl in her handmade outfit:

Yes, I made a cat cake for her:

Interestingly the kids all wanted to eat the head.  Now all we have left is the cat backside.

present pile:

It was a great birthday with wonderful people together to celebrate our precious little girl.

Kale and Apple Salad with Molasses Vinaigrette and Sugared Pecans

26 Mar

We had a little get together this weekend and enjoyed this salad.  It is so delicious I just had to share it with you all.  Thanks Terry for coming and making a wonderful dinner for us!

We are having a little birthday party for Sophi this Thursday and I am going to make a big batch of it.  Sophi loved the salad and I hope you will too.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinate Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of kale, washed (about 7 cups loosely packed)
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, cut into matchstick slices
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced with carrot peeler

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground mustard
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable stock (I didn’t use this ingredient and it turned out fine)

Pecan Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves


1. Using a sharp knife, cut away think center stems of kale leaves and discard stems. Stack several leaves, tightly roll them into a cigar shape and slice them into thin ribbons. Repeat until all leaves are thinly sliced.

2. In a small bowl, combine molasses, vinegar, mustard, shallots, oil and stock, and season with salt and pepper. Toss dressing with kale, apple and cheese, and let sit at room temperature for one hour.

3. Heat butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in cinnamon, allspice, pepper, sugar and pecans. Toast pecans for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until the sugar has melted and the pecans are lightly toasted. Spread on wax paper to cool. Toss pecans with salad and serve.


24 Mar

I was at target the other day picking up some odds and ends.

Since Sophi has started potty training we need some more kid undies around the house.  I went looking for them and when I found them I was quite surprised.  I could buy a seven pack of princess underwear for $10.99

Disney® Princess Girls 7-Pack Panty Set - Assorted

At first I grabbed two packs.

But then I looked into the cart and realized that was $22 worth of kid underwear.  Not cool.  I put one of the packs away and decided I was going to try and make some.

This first pair I made out of an old pair of pants with some horrible knee stains.

I like the waistband on the pink pair because it is so comfortable for her.

The blue pair I simply threaded some elastic into the bottom seam of a t-shirt after I traced and cut out the pattern.

The girls are SOOOO cute when they are wearing their new underwear.  Wish I could show you pictures of the girls wearing them, but this is not this kind of website =)

Love Me Some Irish

22 Mar

Love St Patty’s Day!  I just can’t help myself.

And here are a few reasons why-

We started the day with green pancakes:

and green scrambled eggs:

Sophi wore the outfit that Aleah had on last year(skirt made out of a sweater):

On Saturday morning I put the corned beef in the crock pot and then about an hour before we ate dinner I put the mixture into the oven to give it some crisp.  Oh man, I can almost smell the deliciousness.

Red potatoes and corned beef, it doesn’t get much better than this-

I will be making this Irish Soda Bread throughout the year because it was do easy to make and really yummy.  The loaf was gone in about 1.3 minutes.

Aleah made a green (inside and out) cake and we sang Happy Birthday Saint Patrick.  Just because we could =)

It was another great St Patty’s Day.

Polar Plunge

20 Mar

We had the youth group out to our house last weekend for a polar plunge.

The weather was so gorgeous and kids were sitting around in shorts and t-shirts.

Jared was the first one to go in

The most tricky part of the actual even was trying to keep Aleah and Sophi from jumping/falling into the hole.

I am so proud of all the kids who jumped.

The feeling after you jump is incredible.  You feel like all the pours of your skin have been cleansed and refreshed.

Kristen, the girl below, jumped in TEN times

Jonah is only in kindergarden and after watching people jump in for a few minutes he was up for the challenge.

What a fun and memorable morning!


18 Mar

I saw a headband I liked on pintrest and decided to give it a whirl and try to make it.

This is the picture I started with:

The headbands I liked were the ones on the right side of the pictures

cut a long oval out of

Next, set your machine to the make the longest stitch and sew about three inches down the center of the oval

after you have sewed down the middle you need to pull the thread to scrunch up the oval into a gathered circle

Make about three circles and then attach them to the headband that will be two or three inches wide.

What a cutie pie

Sauna Time

15 Mar

Pretty much every house around here has a sauna.

The girls looooooove taking saunas.  It doesn’t get too hot when they are in there and we take lots of breaks.  The key for making it a fun event is lots of snow.

They put the snow on top of their heads and eat it the whole time.

When Sophi hears the word sauna she exclaims, “Me, sauna, too?!”

St Patty’s Recipes

12 Mar

I thought I had better give you guys a few recipes before the BIG day.

So glad I married into an Irish family.  It is quite the fun holiday.

Some delicious Irish Soda Bread:

I have never tried making Irish soda bread so this will be a new recipe for me.

Also some Irish Cream.  I tried making this last year and it was quite the hit and tastes amazing with some coffee.  To make the Irish Cream you will have to make some homemade chocolate syrup and after tasting the stuff you will never eat Hersey’s syrup again.  It is just that delicious.

Here is a link to our St Patty’s Day adventures last year:


Start planning now for delicious meals, lots of green and much, much more.  What are your favorite St Patty’s Day traditions?

Pond Hockey

12 Mar

here is my team

In the month of February I went back to my hometown of Eagle River for the  2012 Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships.

My team was made up of girls I played hockey with since we were little.

I played in this tournament last year and we won our division.

This year we had to go up a level and therefore got creamed.  It was definitely a different experience but tons of fun and a mini reunion.

This year it was 35 below zero.  I don’t know if I have ever felt that cold before.  The winds whipping across the lake and us with our hockey gloves and helmets.  It was freezing.  For one of the games I made my helmet at big as it would go so I could put a winter hat underneath.  I also wore snow gloves instead of hockey gloves because I couldn’t feel my hands.

Who knows what kind of weather and competition will greet us next year.

Lots of time is spent trying to get the puck out of snowbanks.

Thanks Abbey (red helmet) for organizing our team!

Polar Project

10 Mar

We are having the youth group out to our house this morning to do a polar plunge.

Last night Jared and our friend Tom had the duty of making the hole in the ice.  Sounded like a pretty straight forward job.

But that was not the case.  Apparently, cutting a giant hole through three feet of solid ice isn’t as easy as it sounds.   They were down at the lake for about four hours chainsawing, chipping, sweating and getting very sore backs.

They finally got the job done late into the night.

How freezing do these pictures look?  Brrrr.

Who is ready for a swim?