Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another Black Eye!!

Poor Isabel is constantly in the wars. Since she was a baby, or it seems anyhow, she has been bumping into things, tripping, stumbling or simply falling over. You have heard me mention this previously. On a serious note, we will be speaking to the doctor about this when we next visit, if nothing only to check her ears and thus balance.

Anyhow, she took another spill this week, received a nice shiner for her troubles. She was running along the path, we were playing tag in the garden; she stumbled and hit the fence… eye!!

Recall the photo at the end, from when she was one. One of my favorites, a broken leg and a black eye from a separate incident…she was not yet one!!

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Pork Burgers

Lynne, my dear vegetarian wife, ventured into true non-vegetarian territory today. She made what I described as “the best burgers that I have ever tasted”, and you all know how I like my meat. After reading an article this week in the NYT and listening to a story on NPR, she made pork burgers. Not that common, certainly not as common as the classic beef pattie, but surprisingly tasty.

She bought a shoulder of port, literally a shoulder and stripped it down to the bone. Minced it, added minced onion, apples, garlic, ground pepper, fennel with a bit of salt. I was in charge of grilling and they clung together very nicely. They were great; you have to try them sometime!!

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We as humans get very attached to our pets, be they dogs, cats, birds, reptiles or whatever takes your fancy. A big part of Randy and Lorraine’s family passed today. Henry, their beloved dog of more than 12 years, passed on. He was a sweet dog, very well tempered and oh so great with the kids! He was a companion to Lorraine and Randy of course, part of the family, but in recent years he was also a true companion to Lorraine’s mother Jane. She will also miss him dearly.

We all love our pets, they really are part of the family. It’s always sad when they pass on! We’ll miss Henry, you were such a good dog!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sheri Visits Again

We’re delighted to have Sheri here again with us this week. For those of you who don’t recall, Sheri and Lynne know each other from her days in Madison, Wisconsin, many years ago. She now lives in Connecticut with her husband Bruno where they do many interesting and exciting things, all of which they detail in their blog.

She is teaching at Purdue this week and we love when she comes to stay. The girls are really starting to interact well with people when they visit and this evening Sheri was treated to a sidewalk game of tic tac toe (noughts and crosses or Xs and Os if you live outside the US). Sheri even introduced Anja to the world of Hangman which I bet will be a big hit in the coming days.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Jonathan

It’s a crazy time of year for birthdays in our family. Tomorrow is Jonathan’s birthday and we’d all like to wish you a very happy birthday and a great day. Have a few pints on me and a couple for yourself of course:)

ps. See how kind I was in my photo selection :))

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Sis'

Tomorrow is my sisters birthday, Happy Birthday Eilish. It was great seeing you two weeks ago, you have grown up so much. Hope you have a wonderful day, don’t go too wild but enjoy it nevertheless.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Scotlynn, Cy and Logan

Tonight we had another one of those spontaneous grill-out evenings. The evening sky was clear blue, perfect temperature, low humidity, why not invite some friends. It was Lorraine’s birthday so we had an extra excuse. Happy Birthday Lorraine.

Tonight they brought some of their grandchildren with them; you’ve heard me mention them before, Scotlynn, Cy and Logan. Their parents, Lisa and Cody, were having a well deserved night out together and we know how important those nights are (hope you guys had a nice eveinging!).

Anyhow, wanted to just state that as a parent of three younger children, I’d like to think my children would turn out like Scotlynn, Cy and Logan. They know us quite well but when visiting us tonight their maturity, politeness, charm and kindness is simply amazing to witness. They are still kids but exhibit behaviors beyond their years and for that their parents should be very proud. They are a pleasure to be around. The best part, our kids adore them…simply being so much older guarantees this, they hang on every word Logan iterates and Scotlynn is obviously a model for them. In time of course they will realize that Cy is a fountain of knowledge and will appreciate him for that. It will take time, but I’m starting to realize with kids, time skips along so quickly it’s almost scary!!

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog

We have another birthday here in West Lafayette this week. The “Blog” turns 5 years old today! I know, I know, this is a little silly and I promise not to do it for another five years, but I had no idea five years ago after posting that first blog post that what started then would be going for so long.
There have been ups and downs, like most things really. There was a nine month hiatus, recall this post which everybody had to endure for 9 months? It's address has also graduated, initially it was listed as: but has now got the more august address of:

As you know it started as a means to share photos of Anja and kept going really. Of course it still serves that purpose but now does the same for both Isabel and Connor and much more too. The posts introducing both Isabel and Connor to you all were highlights, special days indeed.

We have readers all over the US and Europe and once again, many thanks for checking in once in a while. It keeps me motivated so thanks.

Happy Birthday Blog, today is Friday and I think I may just have to celebrate your birthday :))
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Bithday Lynne

Yesterday we celebrated another birthday in our house, Lynne turned over another year! She had presents from everybody and calls from both friends and family. Lynne and I then managed to get our first bike ride together for the year, a short 20 mile loop which was great to do. In the afternoon, Lynne took advantage of the help at hand and did some of gardening, arguably her favorite relaxation past-time. The girls and I baked her a cake, a carrot cake which the girls insisted on frosting with her imposed favorite color (or shall I say, insisted that we start and I finish).

Later in the evening, Lynne and myself had a very relaxing dinner downtown. It was nice to linger a little while and catch up over dinner in the knowledge that the kids were in very safe hands at home. We had both Randy, Lorraine, my parents and my sister all having dinner together and tucking into the vino at home (thats a private joke, I was very pleased to see that they were all have a good time when we returned home).

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Mannicure Anybody?

One of the joys of being a grandmother, or a Granny as my mother likes to be called, is that your grandchildren are kind enough to offer special treatment. It was such a kind offer that Anja bestowed on Mum over the weekend, she painted her nails,  pink of course! The pictures speak for themselves, everybody enjoyed the spectacle!!

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

State of Relaxation

Not a great deal of news from here in West Lafayette. We continue to be in a state of relaxation with my parents visit. Last night we attended Anja’s school Spring Program. Each class was on stage for about five minutes to sing a few songs. The weather is good and my parents and Eilish love to sit out on the deck, play with the kids and soak it all up.

The last picture below is a reaction from Dad when he tasted my home made hard'll probably figure out that he wasn't a fan :). Eilish loved it though so my pride has been restored!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lindsay, Tomatoes and Relaxing!!

I took a vacation day today to spend some time with Mum, Dad and Eilish. It’s turning out to be quite relaxing since they are not that bothered about traveling any distance to see any sites, they wish simply to sit in the sun, relax and enjoy our company, its mostly the kids I think!!

We did go out this afternoon, however, just to break the day’s activity up a little. We did a little shopping but the highlight was the purchase of our tomatoes for the year. Big Boy, Celebrity, Early Girl, Sweet 100, and Yellow Pear were the tomato varieties I went for this year in addition to a tomatillo for some top tasty salsa dishes again this year. Yum Yum!!

We also had a visit this morning from Lindsay, Ruby and Burke. Great to see you all as always, please come as often as you like. The girls love playing with Ruby and Burke and I think Brooke enjoys some adult company!!

Shown below are a few of the pictures I snapped this morning!!

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day Present

Brooke did this wonderful gift with the girls last week for Lynne for Mother’s Day. She had this pot painted; the children’s handprints placed on the pot (or smudge in Connor’s case) and then sprayed it over. A perfect gift!!

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Mum, Dad and Eilish

Well after the fanfare of the flights to the US from Ireland, my parents did indeed get here as planned on Thursday. They are now well settled in, enjoying the kids and their visit. We went out to our local Irish bar on Saturday night (after being up at 5am to run my half marathon), we had a great time. Randy and Loraine also joined us.  We spent yesterday at their house enjoying the nice day, their company and hospitality.