Monday, September 29, 2008

For Sale

Our house is officially on the market. With a second baby on the way, we are finding that our space is getting a little tighter. David and I have really enjoyed this home and will be sad to leave it. It is the house we moved into after moving back from Kenya, where we brought Asher home and where we will bring our second baby home. We can't be too sad though since we won't be moving far away. We love our location so much that we bought a lot on the street behind us and just a couple homes down. David is able to come home for lunch since he works so close. We have grown close to our neighbors, and I have found a great moms group for Asher and I to hang out with during our week. Our new home will hopefully be finished by February 2009. Meanwhile, I am trying to keep our house clean and picked up, which isn't easy to do with an 18 1/2 month old and being 38 weeks pregnant!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


This is what I hear all day long from Asher, "Mower." The boy loves mowers. I don't know what has created this obsession. We will be inside and he can hear a mower start up several houses down and want to go outside to see it. When we go to the park, it is the first thing he wants to see (we do have some really big mowers at Centennial Park that he is fascinated with). Last night, he stood by our front window and watched our neighbor across the street mow his lawn, trim his lawn, and sweep the grass trimmings. It kept him so entertained, and Asher would occassionally turn to me and say "mower" and "grass" and "broom" (when he was sweeping). He enjoys looking at mowers in catalogs, and when we color, it is the first thing he requests that I draw. I know David hopes that he will continue to like mowers this much when he is old enough to actually mow the lawn!

Picture from here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

International Day of Peace

You might not know that today marks the International Day of Peace. Though our first thoughts may go to our own country in conflict, I would like to take this opportunity to share about children around the world who are being forced into soldiers.
Today, there are approximately 300,000 children serving in government forces or armed rebel groups. Some of these children are taken from their homes as young as eight years old. To date, approximately 2 million children have been killed and 6 million have been left permanently disabled while serving as soldiers in their country’s conflict. Currently, 18 countries involve children soldiers in armed conflict.
International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire –both personal and political. Consider taking this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as impact the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to the planet and the number of lives that would be spared as a result. Today (and even after today) I ask you that you pray for these 300,000 children who have been so brutally robbed of their innocence.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Water Fun

Many times throughout the day, Asher will bring me cups to fill with water (not to drink but to play). So, I have been trying to come up with a way to play in water but not make a total mess in our house. Another mom in our playgroup and I decided that we would fill up an "under the bed" storage container with water. We set it on my friend's porch and then let the boys at it. They had a fun time and we were able to keep them and the water contained....not to say that they didn't get wet themselves. We hope that we can have more fun days like these!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who is Nervous?!

Football season is my favorite time of the year. David and I enjoy the excitement of Saturday mornings and watching "College Game Day" to see the upcoming games of the day and to see Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso's picks for the day. This Saturday night is a BIG night for me. I am a huge Ohio State fan and am quite nervous about them facing #1 USC. It's not making things any easier that Beanie Wells is doubtful for Saturday's game (but it may be a great excuse if we lose :)). So, Saturday night I will be sitting (or standing or jumping in front of the tv screen....probably not jumping since I am almost 36 weeks pregnant) watching the game and hoping that the Buckeyes can pull out a win. Will anyone else be out there watching the game?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fall recipe

After spending the weekend in South Bend, the cooler weather has me craving fall recipes. I discovered this one below from my good friend Mary. I made it a couple of times last fall and just made it this past week. Sooo goood!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta

3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups (1-inch) cubed, peeled butternut squash
6 sweet hickory smoked bacon slices ( I used turkey bacon)
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
8 oz. uncooked mini penne
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced fat milk
3/4 cup shredded sharp provolone cheese (I never could find this so just bought slices of provolone and cut into small pieces)
1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz) grated fresh parmesan cheese

1. Combine 1/4 tsp salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp rosemary. Place squash on foil-lined baking sheet w/ cooking spray, sprinkle squah with spice mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 min.
2. Cook bacon over med heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 tsp drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to med-high. Add shallots to pan, saute for 8 min or until tender. Combine roasted squash, bacon, and shallots. Set aside.
3. Cook pasta. Drain well.
4. Combine flour and 1/2 tsp salt in Dutch oven over med-high heat. Gradually add milk stirring constantly with wish, bring to boil. Cook 1 min or until slightly thick, stir constantly. Reomove from heat. Add provolone, stir until melts. Add pasta to cheese mix, and toss well. Pour into sprayed 11 x 7 dish; top with squah mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 min.
Serves: 5

Monday, September 8, 2008

South Bend, Indiana

David and I headed to South Bend, Indiana this past weekend and left Asher with David's parents. This was our last weekend get-away before the baby arrives. David lived in South Bend for 5 years while working as an engineer. On Friday, we were able to visit where he used to work and see a few of the guys he used to work with. Then we spent the rest of the weekend with Sam and Kelly Barrington (and their three children). We had a really fun time hanging out with them and I was glad to get to know them better, especially after hearing so many great stories about David's time with them in South Bend. Sam, Kelly, myself, and David at the Barrington's home just before leaving for the Notre Dame game.
We were able to get on campus early enough to see some of the pre-game traditions and highlights of the campus. David and I are standing in front of "touchdown Jesus"(the Notre Dame library, which also had a great bathroom :)).
David in front of "First down Moses" (not sure why David is lifting his arms unless to question why it looks like Moses has horns).
While watching the Notre Dame football team head to the stadium after attending mass, we caught a pretty good view of Joe Montana.

David and I at the game. We had pretty good seats (35 yard line and on the Notre Dame side). I should clarify that the seats were "good" because of their view not because of their comfortableness (we were on a very small wooden bench).
Joe Montana and his wife down on the field. They kept us entertained when the game wasn't exciting.

Coach Charlie Weis with the team. It appeared that when Notre Dame finally came back and the game was getting more exciting that Coach Weis had taken over the play calling.

Clausen trying to convince his teammate that his long hair this season was not what was affecting his game playing. HA!David relieved at the end of the game that Notre Dame had rallied back and the win was in sight. Now I have a good feel for David's life when he lived in South Bend. Our weekend couldn't have been better with such hospitable hosts as the Barringtons, a win by Notre Dame, great fall weather, and knowing that Asher was in good care by David's parents (thanks for keeping him for us)!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

This past Saturday we went to the park and had a picnic with David's parents (Nana and Grandpops). Asher enjoyed swinging on the swing with David and Grandpops.
Grandpops and David attempting a game at Bocce Ball. They made up the game as they went along and we stayed out of their way so that we wouldn't get hit by a ball. :) Asher enjoyed walking through the leaves that had already fallen and hearing them crunch beneath his feet.
Nana and Asher on the swing. Thanks, Nana, for making us a delicious lunch! We had a fun day at the park.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Night Out

David and I attended the Labor of Love fundraiser last night and even met up with some of our good friends from OC (Jon Lee pictured above with us). (Thanks Nana and Grandpops for baby-sitting so late!)
Here we are in the far left corner talking to Sean Carasso who is heading up a non-profit organization called Falling Whistles. This is the guy whose blog I want you all to check out. David and I were immediately enraptured by his stories of passion for the children soldiers in the Congo that he met and is trying to help. We didn't want to consume his time but had a hard time dragging ourselves away from his table. He is an amazing speaker and writer (again, check out his blog :)) and hopes to share his experiences with as many as he can. I am hoping to find a way for him to speak at our church.
Below is an excerpt from the descripton of Falling Whistles on Facebook:
"Laying in Titu Prison, these 5 boy-prisoners first told me of the whistleblowers.
Abducted in Congo and too small even to carry a gun, boys were given merely a whistle and sent to the front lines of battle. The sound of their whistles calling together was meant to frighten the enemy away. Failing that, their sole duty was to receive the bullets with their bodies.With falling whistles, their only choice was to feign death, or face it. The whistle became a symbol of the level of injustice in Congo. The haunting image of whistles falling from palm sized hands pushed me forward. It wasn't until I returned home that I realized - there in Congo a whistleblower is a victim of injustice, but here in the West, a whistleblower is someone who calls out injustice. Possessed within this single symbol was both problem and response. Around the world, the sound of a whistle demands STOP. PAY ATTENTION. Demand the same from your friends and family. Become a whistleblower for the war in Congo. Injustice cannot exist when millions of people call it out. Together we'll stand even as they fell, and use what was once their only weapon as our voice to fight for their freedom.