Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Air Force Museum

Nathan took Jacob and Ellie to the Air Force Museum today. It's great going during the week because it usually isn't crowded and the kids can see whatever they want for as long as they want. They had a fun time hanging out with Daddy!

I love how the lights shine on them in this pic.
Astronaut Ellie
Astronaut Jacob
We are studying the planets/space in science right now, so this fit right in.
Standing by my favorite plane...the SR-71 blackbird

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fireproof Your Marriage


As I've already pointed out, "Fireproof" is my new favorite movie. Nathan's parents' church just happened to be having a couples' weekend, so we decided to go (I couldn't pass up a chance to see Kirk Cameron on the big screen!). We spent our first night EVER away from the kids last night (not counting my lovely kidney stone experience last September) and had a wonderful time.

On Friday, we had dinner at Cheesecake Factory with friends, Steve and Hollie. Nathan and Steve work together and Hollie and I get along really well. After dinner, we headed to Patterson Park Church. The auditorium was decorated like a wedding reception and a photographer took our picture as we entered. During the intermission of the movie, we enjoyed yummy wedding cake and punch.

On Saturday, the church provided breakfast. We attended 3 sessions (all based on themes from the movie), and then Chick-fil-A catered lunch. It was good to get away even for a short period of time and we decided that we need to do it more often in the future!

Before lunch, we watched this funny "commercial" for Chick-fil-A. Hope you enjoy it!

World Down Syndrome Day

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!
What a blessing Emmaline is to everyone she meets!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Little Stinker

The girls got bunkbeds about 1 month ago. The bottom step is pretty steep, so we figured it would be awhile until Emmaline figured how how to climb it. WRONG! Here is a pic. of where we found here when we checked on her during nap time today:

Now we're in the process of building some sort of gate to block the bottom step so she can't hang out on Ellie's bed.

Friday Class

The kids' martial arts class that Nathan started on Friday mornings is going well. It is still small, but the kids are having a blast (and Nathan is too!). I'm also enjoying it because I get to hang out with my friend, Becky, for at least an hour every week! Here are some pics. from class today:

Jacob yelling as he punches the bag (aka, the stranger)
Doing the bear walk
Ellie climbs through the obstacle course

Thursday, March 19, 2009

2-yr. stats

Emmaline went for her 2-yr. check-up today. Her pediatrician always makes me feel like I'm doing a good job as a parent. Nathan says that it's because I am, but it's still nice to hear from a professional. She is somewhat behind developmentally, but everyone is really happy with her good health and progress thus far. Here are her current stats:

Height: 32 3/4" (10-25%)
Weight: 25 lbs. (25%)
Head: 46 cm (10-25%)

This is on the typical growth chart and she seem to be holding her own so far. I still can't believe she's 2 already!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Homemade Wheat Bread

As part of us eating healthier, we don't buy many prepared items. That means no muffin mixes, frozen waffles, refrigerated cookie dough. etc. I've gotten pretty good at making whole wheat waffles & pancakes, cookies, and muffins from scratch. I had yet to find a good bread recipe though until last week. This one came from Moneysaving Mom and is super-easy and delicious.

Homemade Wheat Bread

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F.)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast

Put all ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. Set on dough cycle. When dough cycle is finished, take dough out and shape into a loaf in a greased bread pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20-45 minutes (until doubled). Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

You'd think with the Irish last name of Curley, we'd have something big planned for the holiday, but that wasn't the case this year. Even though we didn't have any special plans for the day, I couldn't resist taking some pics. of the kids all decked out in their green duds. Enjoy the cuteness!

My handsome Irish boy
Everybody loves an Irish girl
Irish eyes are smiling
Jacob tickling Emmaline
Sweet Sisters

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cox Arboretum...almost!

After the birthday party, we went to McDonald's and got dinner to take for a picnic at Cox Arboretum. We ate and then planned to walk around for a bit since it was nice out. Dinner went fine, but then Emmy had a super-dirty in out the back of the diaper and all over the stroller. Due to this, we opted to head home and try again another day. On returning home, we discovered that the cover of the stroller does not come off, so Nathan had the privilege of hosing the whole thing off in the driveway. Thankfully, it cleaned up nicely and will accompany us on our next outing. It was a strange and crazy day!


Happy Birthday Gwynn (also known as The Mayhem at Chuck E. Cheese)

After church today, Ellie went to Chuck E. Cheese for her friend, Gwynn's birthday party. Let me just say that I have never seen Chuck E. Cheese this crowded EVER! Seriously...there was a line out the door into the parking lot and if you were not there for a private party, they wouldn't let you in. You'd have thought we were at a popular club or something. Anyway, Ellie had fun playing with several friends from church, but it was nearly impossible to keep track of your kids among the masses (and apparently most parents just let their kids run loose?!). At one point, an adult even stole Ellie's cup of tokens. She told Daddy though and they were retrieved without incident (lucky for that guy there was a crowd because Nathan was pretty ticked off!). After today, we've officially nicknamed this place Ghetto Chuck E. Cheese because Nathan saw at least 4 people that he'd arrested. Don't you wish you were there?

Honestly, we have nothing against the place. We take our kids there every year for their birthdays, but we do it for lunch during the week (one of the joys of homeschooling!). Our advice would be to avoid it on the weekends though because it gets out of control. We did get a couple of cute pics. amongst the chaos:

One of my favorite close-ups of Emmy
Ellie and the Teletubbies
Jacob playing air-hockey
Despite the chaos, Ellie can't wait to go back.
Thankfully, her birthday isn't until August!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My New Favorite Movie

I should probably be ashamed to say this, but I have seen "Fireproof" 5 times in the past 8 days. Sure, part of it is for Kirk Cameron (he has aged really well!), but I also love the story line. I can relate the the struggles of being married to an emergency worker (don't worry, Nathan and I are fine!) and it was good to see that portrayed on the big screen. Another reason I like the movie so much is because of who Kirk Cameron is in real life. I have gotten to the point where I have trouble watching movies if I know the actor/actress has a messed-up personal life. Kirk has been married to Chelsea Noble (whom he met on "Growing Pains") for 17 years and they have 6 kids. It is nice to see a dedicated father and husband be successful while still holding strong to his Christian values. Anyway, if you haven't seen the movie, please do. It's great for struggling marriages, but is also a good reminder to all about loving your spouse unconditionally and putting their needs first. I won't be offended if you don't like it as much as I do, but I definitely think that this movie is a "must see" for all.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Let's Go Fly a Kite

Since it was relatively warm, Nathan and his dad took the kids kite flying today. They flew kites for a couple of hours, went to lunch, and then back to his parents' house so the kids could play. From what I've heard, it was a great time. I stayed home with Emmaline, who enjoyed all the individual attention she got. Her nap time proved very productive for me as I folded (& put away!) 6 loads of laundry, cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed the whole house, and washed dishes. Nathan even brought home dinner so that I didn't have to cook last night. It was a good day for everyone!

Spring is in the air

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Noah turns 4!

Today we went to a birthday party for Jacob and Ellie's friend, Noah. It had a cowboy theme and the kids had a blast playing together.

Showing off their loot from the pinata
Emmaline watched from the porch but wanted to be part of the action
Jacob enjoyed his carrot cake and strawberry ice cream
Ellie opted for chocolate with hers

Friday, March 6, 2009

Afternoon at the Park

We were supposed to take Emmaline to get her 2-yr. pictures taken today, but she fell and scratched her face yesterday, so we're postponing that until later in the month. Since we had a free day (no school work and no therapy), we took the kids to lunch at Chick-fil-A and then to a park. Emmaline fell asleep on the way to the park, so I read a magazine in the van while she napped. On the way home, we stopped at Ritter's to get dessert and take it home. Apparently, I wasn't supposed to have any because part of my smoothie spilled in the van and the rest ended up all over the kitchen floor when Ellie was reaching for her sundae. Here are some pics. of the kids enjoying the windy day at the park:

Jacob behind bars

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

My friend, Michele, gave me this recipe and I had to pass it along. These cinnamon rolls are some of the best I've ever had! Best of all, after you bake them, you can freeze them so you have a yummy treat on hand whenever you want (just don't ice them if you plan to freeze them). Hope you like these as much as our family does!

Cinnamon Rolls

About 15 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350°F/180°C

4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rising active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
6 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 to 5 tsp milk

Combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour and yeast in large mixing bowl. Heat the 1-1/4 cups milk, vanilla, sugar, butter, salt, and cinnamon just until mixture is warm (120-130°F), stirring constantly. Add to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.

Using a spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can (dough will be soft). Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball; place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 to 1-1/2 hours).

The dough is ready for shaping when you can lightly press two fingers 1/2-inch into dough and an indentation remains. Punch down dough and divide in half. Place each half on lightly floured surface and smooth into a ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough into a 12 × 8-inch rectangle. Spread with 3 tbsp of the butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle half over rectangle. Roll up from short side. Seal edges (brushing with water makes rolls easier to seal). Repeat with remaining dough.

Slice one roll into 8 pieces and the other roll into 7 pieces. Arrange slices, evenly, cut-side up, in greased 13 × 9-inch baking dish. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled (about 30 minutes).

Bake for 25 to 40 minutes or until light brown. Invert at once onto wire rack, invert again. Cool slightly. Drizzle rolls with a glaze made by combining the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Serve rolls warm or store in an air-tight container.

Makes 15 servings.