Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Family That Eats Together

Family dinners have always been a special time of day.  Even though the gang often have other activities that keep us from eating together, I still try to sit down as a family as much as possible.  I learn a lot during dinner.  I've heard about who my kid's friends are dating and if that person is good enough, in their opinion.  I learn about the happenings on the school bus, like the girl who gave my Cutie Patootie a bloody nose.  The poor guy, not only did he get his nose punched by a girl but then he had to listen to his Mom and sisters "ooh" and "ah" over just how big a crush the little girl must have on him.   Middle Brother has to put up with the debate on if he likes a neighbour and whether or not he can date her since she calls me "Mom".  When I'm over-tired I easily laugh over the simplest thing and I continue until I can't breathe.  Brat Boy and his sister Evil One like to use dinner time to get me into one of my laughing spells.  They also like to say phrases or words to see if they can make me randomly break out in song, they usually can.  Tonight we plotted Evil One's senior prank -it's a good one!  I cherish these meals together and the laughter that rings through the air.  I hope this can continue for a long time to come.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When is too early to begin planning?

Easter will be here in 5 short weeks.  If I plan well enough then I should be able to get all of my needed supplies and my prep-work done before then.  I do know a basic idea of what we will be eating but I am always looking for new ideas for food and decorating.  My big question for the day is cake.  The last few years I had been making carrot cake, an appropriate cake for Bunny Day.

For many years I made this
cute little bunny cake for my
cute little kids.

One of my dilemma's for this year is whether to make one of those or to  go cutesy and stick with a bunny theme

This little fella is adorable and easy to make.
 Or do I want to be more adventurous and take on something a bit more complicated and go with a basket cake.  

This would be fun to make and I could use the
top to showcase the Easter candy that I plan
on making.

These cakes are so beautiful that I
would almost hate to see my gang
cut into them.
Then there is something simple and delicious like these mini cheese cake nests.  You can never have too much cheesecake.   

It is, after all, one of the tastiest food groups.
I've learned over the years that I look forward to holidays, just like a child.  The difference is that I get so much excitement out of the planning process that I can't wait for the next holiday to come around.  Easter is 5 weeks away, then I can look forward to the Fourth of July, and more planning...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just Like Mom Used To Make

I don't know how many years it's been since I've had these German donuts but I remember how much I loved coming home from school on Shrove Tuesday and finding my Mom making her delicious Fastnacht recipe.  Over the years I have been wanting to make them for my own family and even found a recipe just like my Mom used to make.  Life always got in the way and I never managed to  find the time to cook up a batch. This year, I decided it was time to introduce my gang to a new/old family tradition.   It took all day to get the dough to rise the necessary three times and a lot of cleaning up once they were finally finished (thankfully  my girls helped clean and the boys helped me do the actual cooking).  Fastnachts are really supposed to be eaten before Lent begins. We made a single batch and had eaten quite a few before I took the first photo.  The gang took some to school for their friends and teachers but we still have plenty for later.

I didn't realize until this morning that I had left the camera on
nighttime setting, but you can still see how nice these turned out.
I took this in the morning with the proper camera setting.  The
grease in the donuts absorbed some of the powdered sugar
but they are still Oh so Good!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I don't know when my obsession with shoes began.  As far back as I can remember my Mom would buy me shoes whenever she saw a pair she liked.  In high school my collection was around 27 shoes, most of those were the high heels my Mom preferred to buy me.  She said that women in high heels walk like Marilyn Monroe. I just like the way I feel.  After I moved back to NYS, I had kids to raise and shoes just weren't high on my priority list.  After the girls and I realized we had the same shoe size I started buying shoes again.  I would pick out shoes that would work for all of us so that we could borrow from each other.  Inside I knew I couldn't avoid heels any longer.  I started with a pair of five-inch heeled, copper "Ingrid" shoes.  As soon as I put these shoes on something happened.  I wanted more shoes. I would look at shoes in websites and my heart would start beating faster. I can go months without thinking about more shoes but as soon as I see a pair, I have to have them.  After I order those, I think about the next pair.  I need shoes, they are my drug.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I woke this morning to the sound of my love's voice and the sun shining in my window.  I had a list of chores to do and plans to accomplish so much today.  In my excess organization I went into and there I was greeted with several photos submitted by Annie.  I noticed one was a news article but it was too small to read, so curiously I opened it.  

It's been one month shy of 23 years since I lost my Dad.  On an almost daily basis I talk about him and laugh about him.  Reading his obituary again after all these years brought back Daddy's Little Girl and the pain I felt when I lost him.  I remembered the dream of him saying good-bye and the phone call from Mom an hour later.  I remembered listening to Robert talk to someone on the phone and I knew what had happened but in my mind I killed off everyone but Daddy.  When Robert stood by the bed and spoke my name I remembered the desperation I felt, arguing with him over who really had died.  I remember feeling like my world had come crashing down around me and I wanted to die with my Dad.

And then I saw the next photo and I knew what it was before I enlarged it.

My Daddy.  In Arlington Nation Cemetery.  My Mom's name is inscribed on the other side of the headstone and Mom's coffin is laid on top of Daddy's since she died last.  Mom joked that for all eternity she would be where Dad liked her best... on top.  Mom wanted so badly to be together for their 40th Anniversary.  She died not long before then so that they could celebrate that milestone in Heaven... together.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about them.  Not a day goes by that I don't miss them so much that it hurts.  People don't realize what they have until it's too late.  You need to understand that no matter how much your parents might drive you crazy, you should be grateful to have them in your life.  No matter how burdensome your parents may be, they are still alive.  You need to be grateful that you have parents to care for, no matter how grumpy.  I would give anything to be able to care for my parents in their old age.  I wasn't given that opportunity.  When your parents are gone there is no bringing them back, no second chances to tell them the things you want to or to let them know how much you love them.  I was blessed in that I always let my folks know how much I love them but I have seen so many miss that moment.  If you don't take every opportunity to let your parents know your feelings, you will regret it when they are gone.