Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our Trip's Top Ten

Well, I was wrong...the place did have internet, but there just wasn't enough time in the day to blog!  We were going from morning until night and it was great fun!

Here's a list of just some of the things we did...

1)  We went peach picking.

 Mason and the peaches
 Grandpa and Rosie
 Showing us how to pick
 We picked A LOT of peaches!  We are going to be eating peaches for quite a while.  Good thing we LOVE them!
 The ladies, just chatting! 
Our mini-crew.  They were a good team.  

2.  We ate amazing food!  Sorry, I didn't take pics!  We did a lot of grilling and ate lots of fresh Michigan fruits and veggies.  

3.  We spent hours on our private beach.  It was so incredible.  If you haven't been to Lake Michigan, you have to go.  I love it so much more than the ocean!  No salt water!!!

 Such a beautiful piece of heaven! 
 Enjoying the water with daddy! 
 Melissa and Mason
 Monroe did not like the sand right away...at all!
 Playing in the water!
 Starting to enjoy the sand!
My beach baby! 

4.  We climbed stairs...eighty deadly stairs.  I thought I was going to die each time.  It was worth getting down to the beach, but it almost did me in. 



5.  We relaxed.  Boy, did we ever relax.  It was the most serene environment.  Mom and Dad Murrill also took the kiddos in the mornings which allowed us to sleep in!!!  It was so nice. 
 My little cutie
 How could I not relax here?! 
 Look at this sunset!
The kiddos took it easy, as well! 

6.  We fell more in love:).  I'm pretty lucky. 




7.  We played.



8.  We had family time.






9.  There were some tears...



10.  We made memories to last a lifetime!  What a blessing. 

***********************************************

As sad as we were to leave, it is always nice to arrive home.  We did some laundry and got cleaned up.  Then the family came over for dinner.  More good food!  Now, I'm just relaxing on the couch.  Monroe went to sleep SUPER easily.  Mark, Mike and Dad Murrill are playing tennis, so now it's just me, myself and I tonight.

In pregnancy news, my itching hasn't left.  In fact, it's starting to intense a bit. By the way, don't get a sunburn if you suffer from itching problems.  I have learned the hard way.  I hope to find out how the tests came back sometime this week. I'll let you know what I find out.  I'm definitely having a lot of contractions, but nothing too exciting.  According to my weekly update emails, McKinley weighs approximately the amount of a cantaloupe.  I held a fresh cantaloupe this weekend and they're pretty heavy.  

I don't have a lot more to report.  I don't have to work again until Thursday!  It will be so nice to have three whole days to clean, cook, be at home, etc.  What a relief to not have to go to work tomorrow!!! 

Hope everyone has a lovely night.  Good Night!!     

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vacation!!!!

I couldn't be happier that we are leaving tomorrow for Michigan.  It's going to be so relaxing and just plain wonderful.  I really cannot get over the fact that we will be having our own private beach area.  It is truly a dream come true.

Mom and Dad Murrill arrived tonight and we head out in the morning.  I don't believe there will be an internet connection, so this is it for me for a few days.  I really will try to take lots and lots of pictures. 

I wish everyone a lovely weekend!  Love to you all!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Liver Time

Well, it was just as I suspected, I have to have a full liver panel and my bile levels tested to help rule out Cholestatis.  Ugh!  I'm pretty sure it won't be my liver, but I'll be glad to be able to rule it out.  I'm still measuring right were I should be.  McKinley's heartbeat is in the 140's which is good.  He also checked and found that she is head down, which is a relief.  I know that she can flip, but it's nice to know that she's pointed in the right direction for now.  Because of the itching, he did say that there's a chance she will come early.  I asked about getting steroids to help make sure her lungs are ready, but he said that he never gives steroids after 34 weeks.  He said that in theory, her lungs should be all ready to go and just because Monroe's weren't, doesn't mean that will happen again.  He said he would prefer for her to come at 37 weeks, but he won't be upset if she comes between now and then.

I go back in two weeks and will have an actual exam and they will test me for Strep.  With Monroe, I had her a day after my exam.  I kind of think that's what kick started labor.  It's kind of nerve wracking!

Since I've been home this evening, I've been having a lot of contractions.  They are pretty uncomfortable and my back is hurting like crazy.  I think I maybe pushed it a little too hard today at work. It's hard not to on Orientation Days.

Rosie was a sweet little lady all evening...that is, until bedtime.  She totally flipped a switch and threw the biggest, grandest, craziest fit ever.  She was horrible.  She threw herself down on the ground and cried the most horrifying cry I have ever heard.  Mark and I just looked at each other.  It was jaw dropping to watch.  We could tell she was completely and utterly exhausted, but it was absolutely unacceptable behavior.  We ended up putting her to bed without a book or a song, which are two of her favorite things.  She is now completely knocked out in the exact same spot we left her.  She must have been way beyond tired.

I do not like tantrums.  They are NO fun!  Please forgive me Mom and Dad for all of my bad behavior as a little girl.  I know I had my moments!  I sincerely apologize.  

There's been a little change of plans about our trip this weekend.  Mom Murrill ended up finding a different house to rent that's right on the beach!!! Yay!  Doesn't that sound amazing?!  Our own private beach right in our backyard?!  I can't wait.  I really could use some relaxation time.

Well, have a lovely evening.  My last day of work for the week is tomorrow and I'm pretty glad about that.

Ice Queen

So Mom and Dad Murrill called last week and wanted to see if we were up for an impromptu vacation to Michigan. I am always up for Michigan. I love that place. The scenery, the fruits, the lake…all good things in my book. We leave on Thursday, yes, this Thursday and are staying in a cute little house in South Haven. It’s just minutes from the beach and I know we are going to have a great time. I can’t wait. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures. Okay, let’s be real, I probably will forget to take any pictures, but it never hurts to set lofty, unattainable goals for myself.

My newest addiction, much to the chagrin of my dentist father, is chomping on ice. They have the best ice at work and I go through cup, after cup, after cup. It’s the consistency of Sonic ice, but shaped a bit more like a hotdog, a very tiny hotdog. I just love it!!! I won’t discriminate against ice though, any kind will do. I feel bad for people around me, because I’m sure the crunching is so annoying, but I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t feel bad enough to stop. I know that’s horrible.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I have to stop this post to clean up the huge cup of ice water that I just spilled all over my desk here at work. Everything is covered in ice and water, including me….

Okay, I’m back, but I’m very aggravated at myself. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except for the fact that last night I accidently dumped a whole glass of water off of my nightstand. I had to move it and the bed to get it all sopped up. And about two days before that…the same thing had happened. I was just telling Mark last night, that I was known for this as a child. If there was water in my vicinity, it would be accidently dumped by me. It was like a moth to a flame. My parents finally threatened to never take me to restaurants because I was always the kid that hit the water over. I don’t know if I should blame pregnancy, or if this is just something I’m going to have to deal with the rest of my life. Woe is me.

I’m telling you, McKinley, is getting very cramped in my belly. As I write this, there is a little foot pushing so hard against me, it’s crazy. It really makes me laugh. I just love this little kid. I can’t wait to meet her. I have a feeling she might be a little feistier than Rosie, but I’m sure she’ll be just as sweet. I can never remember how far along I am, but I just looked it up and I’m a little over 34 weeks. I sure can’t wait to be doneJ. I’m still pushing for that August 18th birthday. That is less than a month away! I'll let you know how the doctor's appointment goes!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My day--Revisited

So, my day may have started out pretty crummy, but coming home made it so much better.  I really love my family!  How can I be down in the dumps when I come home to these two?


My Grill Master 
Doesn't she seem so excited to see me? :) 

I'm  always looking for new grilling recipes for Mark to try.  He's pretty amazing at grilling things and all he needs is an idea and he makes it come to life.  I read recently about grilling frozen green beans and I was intrigued.  It seemed so easy and very yummy.


Well, they were definitely so good!  All you have to do is microwave the green beans for a minute and a half, still in the bag.  Then put some foil down on your grill and cover lightly with cooking spray.  Cover the green beans with olive oil, salt and garlic (or any other spice you love) and begin grilling.  Make sure to stir the green beans to keep them from sticking.  Easy and yummy...two of my favorite things.  Give them a try!

Our dinner tonight was pretty strange.  I've been craving some interesting combos lately.  Tonight we had grilled green beans, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I haven't been able to get these out of my head), sliced cucumbers & carrot sticks.  Weird, huh?!

I almost forgot to mention, Mark got off work a little early and stopped at Nordstrom.  He came home with a little surprise for Rosie!

Aren't they so cute?  She's really been needing some outdoor play shoes and these are just right.  They are Keens, so I know they will hold up well.  Good job, Daddy!  We love your surprises

She had a blast playing outside this evening.  At one point, she started hanging out in the bushes and I couldn't help but take a few pictures.

 Rosie's mischievous look.
 Kissing Face!
 My little sweetie pie! 

I have been meaning to post a picture of this quilt for the longest time.  Grandma Murrill (Monroe's Great Grandma) sent this to McKinley a few weeks ago.  It's the softest, sweetest quilt and it was made by her mom!  So McKinley now has something from her great great grandmother!  Isn't that so neat?!  

It's such a sweet little quilt.  I'm so glad the girls can treasure it. 

I think I mentioned a few posts ago about trying to get the girl's closet/dressers all ready.  I realized quickly that since the girls are sharing a closet, it was going to be very hard to make it all fit.  I knew I needed something to help get it all organized.  Last week, Mark and I took a trip to Target and came home with this thing...
It was originally intended for the inside of their closet, but it's just so cute.  I am seriously considering keeping it out in McKinley's room.  I need to find something cute for the top of it.

I wanted to show you the invite for my shower!

Isn't it so lovely?  I just think it's incredible.  Melissa was born to plan parties!   Just looking at the invitation makes me excited.  Thank you Chicago friends/family for being so wonderful!  

Tomorrow is Volunteer Orientation, which means a longer day.  I'm crossing my fingers that this will be my last! After Orientation, I head over to my doctor's appointment.  I always enjoy going and am excited to see how McKinley is doing.  She was a little quiet over the weekend, but she is back to herself today. I've been seeing feet and a little booty pushing my belly out all day.  I love it!!! 

Okay, I better go.  Love to you all! 

Breaking up is hard to do, especially on a Monday morning

There’s nothing like being verbally abused first thing in the morning. Verbally abused by one of my volunteers, to be more exact. I’ve been dealing with this fellow since I arrived at AGH, and it hasn’t gotten any easier as time has gone on. I have had numerous complaints about him, but every time I go to “fire” him, the person complaining changes her mind, and decides to give him another chance.

Well, last week, things finally came to a head. He had missed far too many days and had been being dishonest on his sign-in sheet. We decided that he would have to cut his hours down to one day a week instead of three. Well, he wasn’t having it and showed up bright and early today to volunteer, although he had been told not to. I had to call him into my office to discuss the matter. I’m used to reprimanding kids, but grown men…I’m not quite as comfortable with.

Luckily, I asked Terri to stick around to be my back up, if needed. Well, it was needed. He yelled and hollered and was so disrespectful. I finally told him that I didn’t appreciate his tone or the way he was talking to me, and he somewhat called down. By the time he left, he apologized, but the damage had been done. I let my boss know of what happened, and being the “she means business” woman that she is, she fired him for me. What a relief! I was so glad that I didn’t have to do the deed. He did call me later to discuss his schedule! Apparently, the removal of his badge and vest and the security escort to his car didn’t sink in. What can you do?!

I am still a little shaky over the whole thing. So anyway, Happy Monday morning to everyone! Hope yours is shaping up better than mine:)

It's BAAAACK!

Well, the itching is officially back.  I have been trying to deny the fact, but after last night, there was no denying.  I knew for sure when I woke myself up itching.

From the top of my head, to the bottom of my feet...I itch. I've decided that I can totally handle it this time.  I've been here, done it and bought like 12 of the t-shirts, so I am going to be really calm and not freak out.  Hopefully, it works.  I also really hope this little lady comes early, though.  Rosie has been so sweet.  This morning I was telling Mark about the itching and she came up to me and said, "Momma itching?  I sorry!"  It was the cutest thing.  I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, so I'll let him know then about the return.  I'm sure I'll have to get my liver tested again, "UGH!"  I hate that, but I understand we have to be on the safe side.  I'll let you know how it all goes.

Sabbath was nice.  After Sabbath School and Church, we came home for lunch.  The Meharry's and Kenneth came.  I have to admit, I think it was my best batch of bbq meatballs to date.  They are just so yummy.  We rested a lot of the afternoon.  Brandon arrived later in the evening and we headed to Nordstrom Rack and then to Giordano's for some Chicago-style pizza.  We went a little nuts and added spinach to our normal black olive pizza.  We will definitely be doing that again.  It really made it extra yummy.  I think Monroe loved it the most.

We watched the movie "The Town" after we got home.  I had never heard of it, but the guys played it up to be a romantic comedy.  Much to my dismay, it was far from a romantic comedy.  It was a movie about bank robbers.  But, I have to say, it's the first movie I've made it through in a long time.  I usually am asleep thirty minutes in.   Our evening reminded me of old times with the Murman's.  We were missing a very important part...Kaylee, but we still had a lovely time.  

This morning we woke up and decided on Juicy-O for breakfast.  It is quite the place.  As soon as you are seated they serve you the most wonderful little donuts.  I just LOVE them. The food is pretty incredible, as well.  After breakfast, we had to come home and wish our dear friend off.  It was sad to see him go, but hopefully it won't be long until we see him again.  Brandon called us later to let us know his flight was cancelled!!!  Isn't that horrible?  There was another flight later in the afternoon, and although we offered to come get him, he decided to stick it out.  Even later we found out that the afternoon flight got cancelled, as well!  Poor guy didn't end up leaving until after 8:00 pm!  What a trooper!

After naps had by all, we did a few things around the house and then went to do some errands and get groceries.  I have been having a lot of wardrobe malfunctions lately and just as I was going into the grocery store, the strap on my dress broke.  I don't know how or why, it just totally came apart.  Because of the itching situation, I had given myself special permission to go braless, but without the support of the strap, the situation was not a good one.  Not a good one, AT ALL!  I braved the store, but I've never shopped faster.

As soon as I got home, I changed back into my "uniform".  The uniform this pregnancy is one of the biggest t-shirts known to man.  It is one of Mark's and it is so comfy.  It must be like an
xxxxxxxxxx-large and looks roughly 30 years old.  I asked Mark tonight if he thought it to be work appropriate.  He's thinking it over.

I've been working on some projects tonight that pretty much consumed me.  I have never hemmed clothes before and a few friends have asked me to.  I have usually declined because, well, I don't know how.  However, Nicole really needed a bridesmaid dress shortened before she leaves on Wednesday and I really wanted to help her out.  This really, really frightened me because there was a definite chance that I would seriously screw things up.  After scouring the internet for tutorials, I gave it my best shot.  It's far from perfect, but I don't think any one will be the wiser.  I now need to do Kelsey's shorts!  I am so sorry it is taking me so long, Kels!  I will do them this week.

Nicole also needed a little bow-tie made for Ezra using the extra fabric I cut off of the dress.  I didn't have enough of the fabric leftover to be able to use some of the really cute tutorials I found online, so I had to improvise and I'm not so good at improvisation when it comes to sewing...comedy, maybe...sewing, not at all.  I am totally unhappy with the results, but it's all I could come up with.  If she ends up using it, it will need some major "staging".  Oh, well.  I was too exhausted to try again.  I won't even be posting any pictures. I'm too embarrassed by the train wreck.  I'm sorry I didn't come through for you, Nicole!!!

I've been meaning to ask, have you tried Pinterest yet?  If you haven't, you should.  I just LOVE it.  It lets you "pin" all of the wonderful things you find online and keep it organized in "boards".  You also share your pins with followers.  I have found the coolest things!  You really should check it out.  If you do, be sure to find me.

Tonight, I ran across a picture on FB of a meal that a friend's mom had made.  They are Italian and you could totally tell it was a fabulous authentic Italian meal.  I was jealous and my mouth was watering.  I happen to be friends on FB with the mom, and I decided to be brave and she if she would share some of her recipes.  Well, she was completely happy to share the wealth and I can't wait to give her homemade tomato sauce and eggplant parm a try!  I'll let you know how it turns out.  She also offered to have us over for dinner the next time we're in town.  We will be there with bells on!!!

Guess what?!  Melissa and a few of my friends here are throwing me a baby shower!!!  I'm so excited.  I really wasn't expecting one since this is my second baby, but I am so grateful for their generosity.  It's going to be at my friend, Jen's house in her beautiful backyard.  Melissa gave me one of the invitations and it is just beautiful.  I can't wait.  It's going to be August 9th.  It will be so fun to have a little girl time.  I really don't get much of that anymore.

Well, I better run. It's late and I have work tomorrow.  It's my long week, so keep me in your prayers!  Good Night!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Horse, Of Course!

So, remember a few months back when I said that I couldn't stand another cold day and all I wanted was warmth?  Well, I take that back.  This weather is OUT OF CONTROL and it seems like everyone has been getting it lately.  Just walking from the car into the hospital today just about did me in.  I was out of breath, sweating like a horse and just plain exhausted when I got inside.  While we are on the subject of horses, have I ever mentioned that I don't like them?  I know that's neither here nor there, but it's something about me that I feel you should know. 
 
It all started at my friend Amy's house when I was about 8 years old.  They lived on a large acreage and had many horses.  It was a Sabbath afternoon and we were all going to go on a ride.  They put me on a horse named Easy, because, supposedly she was super easy to ride.  I have decided since then, that she must have been named for other reasons, which I would rather not think about.  Well, easy to ride she was not.  Halfway through the ride, she got spooked and bucked me right off.  She came very close to stomping on me and so began my fear/dislike of horses.  Things haven't improved either.  A few years later at camp, I was placed in Horsemanship Class, much to my great disappointment.  I went to class sporting my brand new khaki shorts from the Limited Too.  Now, I need to give some background. It was a pretty big deal that I had gotten something from the Limited Too, as it was pretty pricey and very "neat" at the time.  If you were a near teenager around the same time as I was, I'm sure you totally understand.  It was super exciting for me.  Okay, back to the story...they didn't have enough horses for everyone, so I got stuck on the back of a horse name Mildew.  Yes, Mildew.  This time the horse was aptly named and my shorts forever bore the wrath of his excessive, mildewy sweating.  I was horrified and went to the camp director and had my schedule changed.    For the rest of the week, I enjoyed two "Craft"  classes a day.  I made about a million lanyards that week, but I didn't care.  It was totally worth not being close to the horses, well, at least that horse. 
 
I do feel that I should clarify.  I don't hate horses or wish them any harm.  I even think they are quite majestic and beautiful.  I just don't dream of riding bare back over the hills with the wind whipping through my hair.  I always felt like such a sham when my friends would talk for hours about horses.  They always had horse folders or shirts with horses on them.  Then when I became a teacher, it was imperative that I hide my horse dislike because I would have lost the affection of all of the little girls in my class.  All of their short stories were about horses, their lunch boxes had horses on them, and they had the folders, too!  Horses just don't go out of style.  I've had to keep this inside for quite awhile now.
 
So, I probably have lost half of my readers because you were offended by my lack of horse love, but I needed to come clean.  I've just gotta be me. 
 
Now, let's get back to this horrendous weather.  I have been trying everything to keep cool.  On Sunday, I got the bright idea to lay out for awhile.  My skin has actually turned from white to transluceant and to feel presentable I need it to be at least a lacy cream tint.  I also have to consider that my legs, stomach, etc. will be exposed soon to the entire Labor and Delivery staff at GlenOaks Hospital, and I only want to look my best.  Well, I guess I just don't want to blind them.  After about 2 seconds minutes in the sun, I realized something needed to be done.   I ended up making about ten trips inside to get all of my artillery to beat the heat.  I had an oscillating fan, a wet towel, a bucket of water, a spray bottle and a popsicle.  I also would take dips in Monroe's pool every 2 to 3 minutes.  I finally ended up taking up residence in her pool, which barely accomodated my childbearing hips.  The next morning, I noticed that the air had gone out of the bottom layer of her pool.  I am not going to attribute that to me, though.  It must be the shotty workmanship of those child pool makers!  I'm sure you've all heard about those guys.  What a racket they have going:)  
 
I am very excited that Brandon is here visiting!!!  He has a conference and has stopped in for a bit.  I was bummed that the whole Baughman gang couldn't join him, but what can you do?  Tonight, we grilled it up big time and had a relaxing evening.  The other Murrill's came over, as well. It was really wonderful.
  
Today was a pretty sad day at work.  Our CEO is leaving (moving to Tampa) and his Going Away Tea was today.  I really love that guy.  He is a phenomenal person and administrator.  I am very sad to see him go. The new CEO seems nice, but I've heard he is a lot less warm.  I'm not one that deals well with change anyway, so a totally different personality type might be hard for me to get used to.  I am sure it will be fine, though.  On a lighter note, I sat down at a table full of ladies at the Tea.  As I looked around I realized that we were all pregnant.   I guess the pregnants migrate toward eachother. 
 
By the way, my list of pregnant ladies is growing exponentially.  There are a few I'm waiting for them to announce, before I do any updates, but I am VERY excited about all of these babies coming.  It is just wonderful. 

Well, it's getting passed my bedtime.  Love to you all!  -Steph
 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good News, Bad News

Good news...For the most part, I was able to salvage the clothes!  After four washes and practically every cleaning agent known to man, I feel very relieved.  A few items still have a very subtle yellow hue, but it isn't too obvious.  I did have to throw out a few, but not any of my favorites.  Whew!

Bad news...My little lady, is kind of driving me nuts today.  I love her to death, and I couldn't be more thankful for her, but she's been bad, really bad.  Anything she could do, she has done and I'm finding my patience running very thin.  I mean, it seems that someone has hired her to thwart any of my plans.  I have been trying to get the girls' closets and dressers all organized.  I seem to get one drawer done and literally two seconds later I turn around and she has somehow taken everything out and is jumping on it.

And naps...hardly an hour today.  That's one hour of sleep after going to bed at 11pm last night.  Yeah, I chose not to disclose that earlier.  Last night, she woke up around 9pm and would not go back to sleep.  I wasn't able to get her back down until 11pm.  Anyway, it created for a fun day today.  A day that seriously made me thankful for work tomorrow.  I know that sounds horrible, but I am very fragile right now:)

Look what I found when going through all of the clothes!!!


Can you believe that Rosie used to wear these little onesies?!  They are hardly the length of my foot!  These were the only two little outfits that fit her properly when we first brought her home.  Luckily, Kaylee sent me these little premie outfits right after she was born and she pretty much lived in them, until she could finally start wearing the newborn size.  They really look like they could fit Rosie's baby!


Have I told you when I've decided McKinley's birthday will be?  Well, it's going to be August 18th.  Okay, I know, I know...I'm nuts.  I just really would love for her to come then.  It would be during my 37th week of pregnancy, it would be before Rosie's b-day (I don't want it to be on her b-day), I wouldn't have to do another Volunteer Orientation, and I just really like the date.  Do I think it will happen?  Probably not, but a girl can dream, right?

I have been meaning to record one of Rosie's night time prayers for the longest time, but I keep forgetting.  Finally tonight, the night where she was totally exhausted, I remembered.  It's not one of her best because she is super quiet and yawning through most of it, but it's still very sweet.  It was completely dark in her room, so that's why you can't see anything.

video

Our Belated Weekend

We had quite a lovely weekend.  On Friday evening, we had the Meharry's over for dinner.  It was great to see them.  It had been FOREVER! We grilled and it was extra amazing.  We have started making our hotdogs Chicago style, well pretty much, and they are so so so so good.  Have you ever had a Chicago Dog?  If not, you really need to.  If you are a vegetarian, like us, and want to try an authentic dog, you can find veggie dogs downtown, so don't think you'll have to miss out.

To make your own Chicago dog you will need:

Poppyseed hotdog buns (you can go without, if you can't find them)
Dill Pickle Spears
Chopped Tomatoes (instead of ketchup)
Chopped Onions
Mustard
Sport peppers (we didn't have any)
Celery Salt
We use grilled Superlinks

Give them a go!! Here's a few pics of us enjoying friend time...

 You may be wondering if my child ever wears clothes anymore.  No, she doesn't...just kidding.  It just seems that I only have my camera in those situations.  
 Ezra, showing off his ride. 
 Zeb, very involved in a story.
 
Two, make that three, tired friends. 

The Creamy Strawberry Pie I was telling you about.  It was just as yummy as I had hoped.  Pretty easy to make as well.  Here's the recipe: 

Creamy Strawberry Pie

Crust:

6 ounces Nilla Wafer Cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cran-raspberry juice
2 quarts strawberries (8 cups), hulled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup cornstarch

1) Crust.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine Nilla wafers and sugar in a food processor.  Pulse until fine crumbs are formed.  Transfer to a bowl and add melted butter; stir together until all crumbs are moistened.  Press crumbs into bottom and up side of a 9-inch pie plate.  Bake crust at 350 degrees for 14 minutes or until curst is lightly browned.  Place on wire rack and cool completely.

2) Filling.  In medium-size saucepan, combine 2/3 cup of the sugar, juice, 2 cups strawberries and cornstarch.  Gently mash berries with a potato masher.  Brings to a boil over medium-high heat and cook 2 minutes or until clear and thickened.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Stir in the remaining strawberries, reserving several for garnish.  Poor into cooled crust and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

3) Topping. Before serving either use cool whip or using 1/2 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons sugar to make homemade whipped cream.  Spread over pie, leaving a 1-inch border around edges.  Garnish with reserved berries and serve. 

On Saturday morning, we headed to Sabbath School.  It was Mark's week to teach.  We were planning on going to church, but Jason and Becky needed help changing the S.S. room over for the next lesson, so we stayed around to help.  After we finished, we realized that Church was almost over, so we went home to have lunch.  We had a lovely meal of pasta, bread, grilled asparagus and steamed broccoli.  Rosie loves asparagus and broccoli!  It makes me so happy when she eats so well!

After a nap, we took Rosie out to play in the water.  It was way too hot to just go to the park.  She loved the pool and her water table.  
What adorable little cheeks peeking out from her swimming suit:) 
 Loving the pool! 
 Mark got inventive!  She enjoyed it, sort of.
 I checked on our veggies and found this great cucumber (it was really yummy) and some lettuce.  After doing some online research, I learned that I have failed as a lettuce farmer.  I think I let it go too long and it has now "bolted" and gotten bitter.  Oops!
Enjoying a big bowl of strawberries. Oh, to be a kid again:)
 This bathing suit is a little small.  It looks shockingly like a wrestlers outfit.  It makes me smile though:)
 Mark took a few "maternity" pics of me with his phone:)  
 I still can't believe McKinley will be here in about a month and a half.  It's crazy!

Later in the afternoon, we went and picked up Kenneth and met the Meharry's at a park in Hinsdale to let the kids play.  It ended up being the boys playing more, but it was very fun.  We then headed to eat dinner and finished the evening on a very high note, at Oberweis.  It was Nicole and Zeb's first Oberweis experience, and they seemed convinced of it's amazingness.

Sunday was a relaxing day.  We did get some errands done.  We also washed the cars.  Here is Monroe helping out.
  
She loves helping with any project!
Daddy, doing his part.
She decided her car needed a little wash, too! 
This is why she is rarely wearing clothes theses days.  She gets soaked when she plays outside.  Such a sweet little face.  
I'm not sure where this came from:)

So anyway, that was our weekend, just a little late.  Love ya!