Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Visit to The Lou

The kids and I made the trip home to be with my mom for her 60th birthday. Yep, that mom of mine is still sweet and sassy, but now she has sixty to go with it! For her birthday we reserved 2 rooms at a hotel in downtown STL. Even though she had to work on her birthday, we wanted her to not have the hassle of drivng through the fair traffic after work. We had so much fun just being together, and it was special for me to share with my children some of my childhood 4th of July activites. 

Here are a few highlights from our stay in St. Louis:

Mike, Ang, and I took the kids to the St. Louis Science Center, where Aiden was fascinated by the see-through floor in the bridge over the interstate. The girls and I were able to see the Body Worlds exhibit which was super cool! Our favorite part was being able to see a healthy lung, a smoker's lung, and a coal miner's lung! We also saw a body with metal fixations...just like daddy!!

We all joined Mom at the Arch for one of her programs. Here she is with all of her grandchildren just before the program.

It was great to see some old friends and meet some new ones at the Arch. The kids enjoyed mom's program, and they listened to the cowboy program as well. Emma was able to try her hand at using a lasso!
And we all had a chance to try the new Dyson hand dryers in the restroom!

One of my favorite things was one evening after my mom finished work we took the kids for a walk around downtown. We went to the City Garden where the kids played in a sprayground.

hehe...this one cracks me up!

The kids had a blast in the hotel pool on the roof!

Emma also cooled off thanks to the STL Fire Dept!

Our trip also included:
                                                 Fireworks under the Arch!
Imo's Pizza....always a favorite!
Pappy's Bbq...a new favorite!
A Bill of Rights Program at the Old Courthouse
Breakfast at Starbucks!

Garden Goodness!

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies!
The other day I shared a recipe for blueberry buckle  and now I have to share another summer favorite!!

Whole Wheat Penne With Veggies

Doesn't it look delicious?! Whole wheat pasta, veggies, and basil! Super easy and really yummy! This is one meatless meal that my dear hubby will eat, but you could easily add some chicken as well. During summer I often cut the recipe in half and make it at lunch time for Emma and me. There is always enough for the both of us and a little bit leftover. It's always better when the veggies and basil are fresh from the garden!

Whole Wheat Penne With Veggies

1 box whole wheat penne pasta
1 small onion, chopped
1 summer squash, chopped
1 zuchinni, chopped
1 c. chopped asparagus
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2Tbsp olive oil
fresh basil

Cook pasta according to pkg.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large skillet over med. heat.
Add onions and cook until soft.
Add other veggies, except tomatoes, and cook until tender (about 5-7min.)
Add tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 3 min.
Toss w/pasta and fresh basil.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blueberry Buckle

It's blueberry season here in Michigan and we love to pick blueberries! It's one of our usual summertime activities! Ryan has missed out on the picking, but the girls and I have gone twice. It's more difficult than usual for me with the shoulder, but we must have our fresh blueberries!!

The girls and I were out in the patch today and when we came home I baked one of our favorite blueberry treats, blueberry buckle. The recipe comes from an old church cookbook that was a wedding shower gift to me from Ryan's cousins. In order to respect her privacy, I will not share the name of the woman that submitted the recipe.

    Blueberry Buckle

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed

Mix shortening, sugar and egg thoroughly. 
Stir in milk.
Mix together the dry ingredients.
Blend in the blueberries.

Spread batter in a greased and floured 9inch pan. Sprinkle with crumb topping.

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup stick butter, softened

Bake at 375 for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I didn't get a picture of the finished product soon enough, but you get the idea :)

The Weekend Update

My sister told me that it has almost been a month since I have posted on here! Must be I'm enjoying these summer days! Here's a quick update on our family.

The kids and I made a trip to my mom's at the beginning of July. That is where we were coming from when the accident happened; we had been home for Thanksgiving. To answer the question that I hear most often, yes, it was hard! Very hard. But it was very worth it! My mom turned 60 and I really wanted to be there to celebrate with her! Even though I tried to hide my anxiety about the trip, the girls and I were all feeling a bit anxious as we left home. Not even 10 miles from our house someone hit a deer right in front of us! My shoulder/neck was feeling sore that day, and we made a stop for motrin, but we made it to mom's!  My brother in laws, aka my BILS, take good care of us and they helped load and uload the van several times, carried the diaper bag, drove in downtown STL for me and helped in many other ways!  Ryan did stay home, he is not up for a road trip yet. It was hard being away from him, even the kids missed him more than usual. Every day one or more of them would cry about missing him. Even Aiden said several times, "I want to go back to my daddy." He was well taken care of by his mom and some other family and friends. Thanks to everyone who helped him out while we were gone! Even though it was a bit difficult for all of us, it was a good thing to get "back in the saddle."

Ryan does have a consultation with an oral surgeon in Midland concerning his jaw. He is still very limited in how wide he can open his mouth. That appt is late August.

He recently had an appt with the ENT surgeon in Flint. He said things are still continuing to heal well, and they will do a hearing test the next time they see him.

Last week I had an MRI to look for damage to a nerve bundle in the shoulder area and the MRI came back clear.  My doctor said that there can be damage to the nerve(like a stretched nerve) that may not show up on the MRI.  For now we are going to assume that is the issue. Damage to a nerve could cause the muscle loss that I have.  We are going to watch it and he'll see me again in a few weeks.

 We may not be able to do all the things we usually like to do, but we are enjoying this summer. I feel like I have been able to take a deep breath for the first time since the accident. I'll post more later on our summer fun!