Great News

"A picture is worth a thousand words"...

 Our sweet baby is due to arrive this Spring!  Daddy, Mommy, Big Sister Julia and Big Brother Mark are besides ourselves with joy.


Blog hop 320

It's Time to Mingle!
Happy Go Lucky
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This weeks guest host is Postcards from Rachel
There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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Lucky...


Today I feel so lucky to have my whole family home with me.

John took off work to spend the day with us and he just makes everything more easier and more fun.

We got to eat breakfast together.  We went to Dorbrook Sprayground.  We had a picnic lunch.  Then we went home for ice pops and baths.

Then John read the kids stories before nap time.

In the car I said to him, "I wish we could do this every Wednesday."

I'm so lucky to have such a great family and such a great hubby who I LOVE so much.




Children Are A Gift


 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.--Psalm 127:3


I can remember the 9 painful months it took for us to get pregnant with Julia.  It just wasn't happening soon enough for me at all.  John was so patient.  He always is.  But me, I was STRESSED.  Why God? Why I asked.  I mean we were married for 4 years.  We had recently bought a new, bigger home with enough bedrooms for children...we were READY, didn't God know how ready we were?

But in His sovereignty I didn't get pregnant til Spring of '07...and everyone was pregnant in my world, everyone had these enormous baby bellies, and I was so envious...I just wanted a baby already!  When we finally got pregnant and I took the first pregnancy test at home I left it on the bathroom counter and didn't even tell John, I didn't want to get my hopes up, I was sure it was a mistake, I probably had a faulty test.  But John came home from work and when he saw that test, Oh, I wish you could've seen his face!  He made me smile.  We couldn't stop smiling.  I took another test in the morning with the same result and then I scheduled our first doctor's appointment.  Wow, I was going to be a mom.

It was then that I understood that children were a gift.  Not everyone had them.  Not everyone wanted them.  They were a gift from God and just like any gift ours to handle with care.  But a baby is even more than I could imagine at that point until she was in my arms.  The accountability and responsibility and the long arduous hours of self sacrificing love.

I can still remember Julia coming home and in the first week she had a clogged tear duct which looked like pink eye and she kept sneezing, and I was certain I had gotten my baby sick.  I cried when we brought her to the doctor.  They were like, "Lady get a grip, she doesn't have pink eye and she's sneezing because newborns clear their sinuses that way."  BUT she was my baby, my responsibility and I wanted to do a good job.  Everything mattered.  Everything was important.  Here I was in charge of this little sweet tiny person.

After I had Mark, and we went through the trauma of hospital visits (boys will be boys) and experienced the "joys of stitches" I began to learn that Children are a Gift and children are fragile, and that God loves my child more than I do.  I don't even know how that's possible but I KNOW it to be true.  God cares and loves and has the best intentions for Julia and Mark and when I am panicking over a fever, or a scratch, or a sickness, He is right there caring for us all, strengthening us as parents and being tender and near to my child.  
Psalm 127:3  Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.


Just think God took the time to knit us all in our mothers womb.  Have you ever knitted anything before?  When I hear that verse I think of the time, effort, and skill one must have to know how to knit, and I think of God carefully knitting together each of us and our children inside our wombs.  Whoa, doesn't it just blow your mind?

 Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Children are a gift from the Lord, He loves them even more than we do and he knit us all in our mother's womb.  I think that makes all of us pretty amazing beings.  We are created in His image and for His glory.

And I think being a mom is one of my most important and sacred jobs, right up there with being the best wife possible to my husband.  These verses were to remind us today to praise our God for our children and his handiwork and to treat our children like the gifts they are...

 



Princeton Family Photo Shoot


Jump Start

I wanted to jump start the new school year and enter into the holiday season with some great family pics of the us with the kids.

My friend Erin is doing photography on the side while she raises her two little guys and she does an amazing job.

Our favorite place as a couple has always been walking around the Princeton University, eating at the Bent Spoon, and window shopping at all the Mom and Pop shops.  Now that we have kids, it's their favorite place too.

Click here to view some of our photos...I had Erin hide a few on purpose...we will post those in a week or two.

Hope you like them.  The kids personality came out very CLEARLY in the photos.  My favorites are of them with their super hero capes on.

And my absolute favorite is of John and I sneaking a kiss and the kids hiding their eyes (well Julia was supposed to but she couldn't help herself!)

I'm so glad to have the family pics done so that I can work on our Christmas cards and letters and not have to worry about booking any appt. when the season gets too busy!  One thing is checked off my list, that's for sure.

Thank you Erin, you are amazing.  View Erin's photography fb wall here.

 


S-L-O-W-I-N-G Down

"Be still and know that I am God..."

Have you ever read certain passages in the Bible and thought, "Wow, God put that verse in just for me!"  Well, I think Psalm 46: 10 was written for me, Kristi Anne McInerney.  

 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
 I think this because God is currently showing me how to just rest in Him, and the great thing about my faith is I am just able to take it and trust Him, no matter what comes ahead.  

After all, it's not about me.  It's all about Him.

I am so thankful for a God that I can rest on and lean on who knows everything there is about me and knows the plan for my life.  I don't have to turn to the left or the right I can just focus on the here and now and be still and know that He is in control.

In this crazy busy world of Blackberry's, Smart Phones, I phones, Facebook, I pads, Internet, and TV, with stocks and bonds and the ups and downs of the economy and stock market. And for those of you who live in the NorthEast like me you know that just about everything we do is busy and fast and multitask.  Y'all in the south have an extra blessing of taking it a bit slower than us and relishing in people and relationships.  And let's face it, you guys are just nicer.  Life moves very quickly over here and if you don't jump in at the right time you will get hit or miss the boat.

But life does not have to be that way.  We can take time to smell the roses.  We can take time to take it easy.  We can make time to build and cultivate relationships.  And I do believe sometimes God puts circumstances in your life so you can do just that.

So, I am learning to slow things down over here.  And I am really, really starting to like it.

 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”--Psalm 46:10


Watermelon Salsa over Baked Tilapia

Every time we go to the Farmer's Market...

 Mark and Julia ask, "Can we get watermelon?"  It's one of our favorite summer fruits.  Here is a great new recipe I came across and plan to make in Sept:

Ingredients:

6-  4 oz tilapia filets
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp garlic minced
non stick cooking spray

For Salsa

2 cups seedless watermelon, diced
1 8-oz can pineapple chunks in juice, drained
1-14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 orange bell pepper seeded and chopped
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh Cubanelle pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro minced(I LOVE cilantro)
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven 350
2. Coat a pan with cooking spray place filets in dish flat side down, sprinkle with lime juice and garlic season with salt and pepper. cover and bake for 15 min
3. While fish bakes combine salsa ingred. in a bowl tossing gently
4. When fish is cooked top each fillet with 2/3 cup of the watermelon salsa!

Enjoy!  Easy and Yummy, and Healthy




Blog Hop...315 followers!

It's Time to Mingle!
Happy Go Lucky
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is The Chiffon Diary
There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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September Menu 2012-Back on Track



 
September Menu 2012

Sun



Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
1
Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad
(pinterest)
2
Weavers
Doylestown



3
Weavers
Doylestown
4
Butternut Squash Casserole
(pinterest)
5
Watermelon and black bean salsa over tilapia

6
Leftover night
7
Spaghetti and meatballs
8
*
9
*


10
Summer corn & bacon potato chowder
(pinterest)
11
Shrimp scampi
(Rachel Ray’s recipe)
12
Crock pot chicken soup and Italian bread
13
Left over night
14
Baked Ziti
15
*
16
*



17
Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken
(pinterest)
18
Baked Salmon and brown rice
19
Broccoli Quiche
20
Left over night
21
Kale and spare ribs
(Grandma Sue’s recipe)
22
*
23
*



24
Chicken Cacciatore Stoup
(Rachel Ray)
25
Pasta salad with feta, garlic, and black olives
26
Tacos and salad
27
Left over night
28
Spaghetti w/roasted tomatoes and herbs
(Real Simple 2011)
29
*
30
*








*Weekends Daddy cooks!!!

Pinterest has been so helpful to me in planning this months meals.  I've really tried to incorporate some Yummy Meals.  If you check out my Pinterest board by clicking the red Pinterest button on the right side you will see the recipes I have listed with parantheses.

Shout out to Jamie and Tony Monaco for inspiring me Monday night at Taekwondo to keep posting my menus!  Thanks guys, you are the best!

 Shout out to my amazing husband who is an awesome chef!

He's been cooking a lot more these days!  I love it.  He inspires me to be more creative in the kitchen.



Wonderful Vacation

Cape May & Lancaster 2012
This year our vacation was awesome!  Can you believe it was only 4 days?  But it was 4 great days of spending time together as a family.   Julia and Mark are at the perfect age for enjoying life and exploring and not being afraid or timid around new places or people.  The kids loved the beach and the pool at Cape May, and we took them to a special restaurant to celebrate our 9 years of marriage: The Lobster House...known for excellent seafood!  I wish I was feeling better because I ate about two bites of my lobster and scallop dish and I know I missed out.  Good thing John was able to enjoy his crab cakes.  The kids enjoyed chocolate milk and burger and fries, and mark had noodles and sauce.

We got the kids their very first pets (Paris was here before they were born so unfortunately she doesn't count).  Hermit Crabs!  Julia named hers Summer (isn't that a perfect name?  She came up with that all on her own) and Mark's was actually red with spider man markings and so he named his Spider Man.  And wouldn't you know?  Summer is wild and adventurous and always out of her shell (hmmm, sound familiar)  and Mark's hermit crab is quiet, shy, and rarely ever comes out, in fact we thought he had died!  But he is just super calm and mellow, just like Marky!
 
We headed to Lancaster on Thursday...Thursday was a difficult day for us.  I was feeling awful.  And we had a 4 hour car ride there because of traffic and a business call.  We were all anxious to get out of the car.  But by the time we got to our awesome hotel with an indoor and an outdoor pool, all was forgiven and our little fish were happily swimming non stop!
 
At Lancaster the next morning we went to a restaurant that served crepes!  Then we swam some more and for lunch headed to an outdoor market of awesome amish vendors and food.  We got root beer, apple cider, home made donuts, pasta, fresh lunch meat and cheese and amish bread for sandwiches.  Everything was delicious.

I bought my Julia a sunflower at the market because she is the sunshine of my life!

The kids napped a bit as we pushed them in their strollers and we headed back to the hotel for some more rest and pool time.  After the pool we headed to our favorite Amish spot the Good & Plenty.

What we love about this place is you sit with strangers share a home style meal together, and leave best friends.  The kids loved the place it really felt homey and comfortable and was plenty noisy.  The food was good and the company was great.  Friday was a great day.

Saturday we headed to Dutch Wonderland where every kid gets to be a kid!  I'm talking bumper cars, kettle popcorn, rollercoasters, face painting and real live princesses.

And although I was not up for any rides, I stood watch and took pictures while John spoiled the kids rotten on every ride.  He was Father of the Year on this vacation, let me tell you!

And the best part was...

When we drove home on Saturday I had a craving for Olive Garden salad...and my husband brought us there.  I had three bowls of salad...so good!

We had a great family vacation.  Can't wait to see what next summer will bring!

***Tomorrow I'm posting my September Menu...thanks to Jamie and her hubby for inspiring me to keep posting my menus!



 


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What a Team

Fall is almost here...

These past 3 weeks have gone by so slowly, between planning for mom's big surprise party, our family vacation, and me being sick, it has felt like 3 months.

John and my family have taken such great tender care of me.  My mom has come over to cook meals, Julia and Mark have had their first sleepovers at the grandparents so I can rest.  And John has spoiled me rotten with date nights, cooking dinner for me and the kids, and just taking over when he gets home.  His big thing is taking the kids out to play at the park or taekwondo school and then out for frozen yogurt so that mommy can just rest.  Isn't he wonderful?

I'm looking ahead to the Fall now, less than 2 weeks away...we have Awana starting up for both kids, Julia starts Gymnastics and Chinese School on Saturdays, and I begin teaching on Fridays at our Homeschool coop in the PreK/Kindergarten class (I did that on purpose so I could be with both my kiddos).

Such an exciting time of the year.  I love August.  The promise of Fall.  The holidays approaching.  A little Miss turning 5 years old.  We have a lot to celebrate.

Thanks for being so patient with me during this time.  I know soon I will be back on the blog and back in the swing of things.  I'm really thankful for the team that God has given me in John and my kids.  They have been my right hand these past few weeks.  And I just love them all the more for it.


Blog Hop!

It's Time to Mingle!
Happy Go Lucky
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is That Fitness Chic
Manic Mother
There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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Better with Time...9 year anniversary

Happy Anniversary

Some things just get even better than you could imagine over time.  That's how our love has been over the past 10 years!  You proposed on June 9, 2002, and on August 8, 2003 we tied the knot!

I'm so thankful for the man you are and the choices we've made together.  We've known each other since we were 16, and now we are 34 (still very young) and still very much in love.

So much has changed.  Career wise and house wise and now we have children!  God continues to stretch us and bless us when we are faithful to Him.  I just can't believe how good God has been to us over the past 10 years.  He's provided so many blessings so many opportunities. 

 In 2004 you surprised me and my parents during Christmas break when you took us all to Rome...remember how God blessed us with upgrading us to First Class and we had awesome seats and food service for 9 hours!  Not only did you think of blessing me but you honored my parents.  Thank you honey.

 I'll never forget how you surprised me with a trip to Paris over Christmas break in 2005...you got me so good, I really thought you were taking me to D.C.  What an awesome surprise and I got to see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, practice my french and go to Versailles.  Places I had only read and dreamed about as an honor french student.

Thank you for always surprising me and thinking of me and being romantic.

In 2006 we were in Barcelona...

Remember we saw this bus labeled Julia and I felt it was yet another sign that we would be parents soon.

Then London in Summer of 2007...

And a growing belly...

Our first born daughter was born on Dec 31, 2007...still can't believe she listened to you talking to her and was born 2 weeks early and became our tax deducion baby...what a good girl!  born at 7:16 am and at 8.1 ounce.

Babe we got to spoil her for 17 whole months til mr. boy boy, our bonus baby son was born...

They have been such treasures...such gifts

Our love has grown and changed as we have parented our two kids and fought to have good communication during difficult work demands.  But honey you have been such a rock, and you have really sought the Lord, and that is why God continues to bless and deepen our marriage and our love.

9 years have gone by in a blink and I'm so thankful to have shared them with you my love.
Happy Anniversary!
We are a team...and I think we are a great one! 




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