...assembling these was MUCH harder than it may seem!

We got the idea from the Family Fun magazine we receive. They were super tasty and cute, but hard to put together because the pineapples kept falling apart. I think the trick is to use thicker slices of pineapple.

Superstar Puppy

On Sunday, the girls and I joined JP for a training session with Gideon at the breeder/trainer's home. The breeder's name is Etta, and she is one heck of a woman. She's an award winning hunter and breeder, the only woman to ever win first place in the big, official Large Munsterlander competition in Germany. Her whole life is devoted to these dogs, 15 of which live with her and her husband Mike in their home. They also keep pigeons, ducks, and chukars to use for training with the dogs.

Etta and Mike live on 20+ acres not more than 7 minutes away from our house. They've developed the land into a perfect training ground for their puppies and dogs. JP goes out there about once a week to work with Gideon, then they practice what they learn at home.

Heading out to plant the birds for Gideon to find

The girls love going to "Miss Etta's" house because there's so much to see and do. They love chasing the birds around, playing around the willow trees, and watching Gideon hunt up his prey.

Miss Etta shows the girls the baby Pigeons in the coop.
Checking out the ducks & chukars
Playing in the willow
The flowers Rae picked for me in the field.
Etta has dubbed Gideon her "superstar puppy" because he is doing so well. He's exceeding all of his brothers and sisters in every area. At his last checkup he was 33 lbs -- as big as Caleb, our full-grown Wheaten Terrier -- at only 4 months old! He's going to be a BIG BOY.

Gideon hunting
Etta & the girls plant a duck for Gideon
And he retrieves it!
Man's best friend. These two are inseparable.



We are happy to announce the arrival of our newest niece, Chloe Grace Peterson, born Friday, July 23rd at 4:11 pm. She was 7 lbs, 13 oz.

She looks like her big sister, Naomi, to me. Both Mama & baby are doing well and went home today. And so begins life with four for my big sister and her husband, Pete! Welcome, sweet Chloe -- we love you so much!



My sister, sister-in-law and I are all due with precious babies three in a row -- Tic, Tac, Toe! And today, Tic is on her way. :)

My sister Amber has gone into labor with her 4th baby! Please be praying for her all day!



We have been blessed with wonderful neighbors here in Princeton.

To the north of us lives a "senior" couple. I use the term relatively, since their spirits deny their physical age. They are sweet and kind, and it's not uncommon for the gentleman, Dan, to wave hello as he passes by on his scooter or for Judy, his wife, to call me up to check on how things are going with the pregnancy or chat about the weekend.

Today I received a call from Judy to let us know that she has more beans & cucumbers in her garden than she could ever need, and she invited us to come harvest as many as we'd like. The girls were very excited about it, and although their excitement waned sooner than I would have hoped (due to attacking horse flies, mosquitoes, and the heat), we had a lot of fun.



Today the girls and I stumbled across a snake in the yard. It was pretty big, relatively speaking, compared to other snakes I've seen.

Later, JP went to step out of our back door and nearly stepped on the snake, who was slithering his way across our patio. JP picked up a small shovel and did away with it. Do me a favor and don't get all "save the snakes" on me. It needed to go.

Fully stretched out he was almost 30 inches long. JP proceeded to find and extinguish three other snakes near his pole barn that same night. Good riddance!


Quotes from Rae

Rae: (crying) "Mom! It hurts!"
Me: "What hurts honey?"
Rae: (still crying) "My rooster! There's a rooster on my foot!"
Me: "Huh?" (inspecting her foot)
Rae: "It's a rooster, Mom."
Me: "Honey, do you mean blister?"
Rae: "Yeah, it's a blister."

Me: "Rae, you need to eat your food."
Rae: "Oh Mom, just think about other things."
Me: "What did you say?"
Rae: "Just think about other things, like putting things in the garbage, going to the zoo, or swimming in the swimming pool."

And my favorite...

Me: (over my shoulder) "Why are you following me around everywhere I go, honey?"
Rae: "Because I love you so much."

*sigh* Melt my heart!!!

Friends in Town

Two of my bridesmaids, Nicole and Bethany, are both in town right now. Nicole lives in Virginia and Bethany in Texas, so getting together as a trio is hard.

On Monday, Nicole and her two kids came out to our place. Rae and Nicole's oldest, Beckett, are only 6 weeks apart, and they played so well together.

Nicole's little girl, Keira, is turning one on Friday. She is seriously...SO cute. Strawberry blond curls, tiny pink lips. What a doll!

Today (Wednesday), All three of us met with our children at Nicole's parents house. This was the first time Bethany had met Keira, and also the first time Nicole had met Bethany's son, Isaac, who many of you prayed for. He's such a sweet, happy, content baby!

It was wonderful to spend time with my two sweet friends and wonder about how and when we became the almost 30-year-old moms we used to see at the mall together.


Trash the Dress

On Sunday I had the very, very fun privilege of doing a "Trash the Dress" photo shoot with some friends.

Trash the dress is a growing photography fad where after their wedding day, brides head out to do things one wouldn't normally do in a wedding gown. I've seen photos involving mud, paint, dirt/dust, and often times water.

In our case, my super cool and laid back friend Molly played at the beach with her equally as cool bridesmaids.

Here are a few of my favorites, but you can view more here.



I don't think I've ever posted a recipe before, but this is one of my favorite summer grilling marinades. I made it tonight and enjoyed it again, so I thought I'd share. It's so easy.

Honey Citrus Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Juice of one orange
Juice of one lemon
Juice of one lime
3T honey
2T olive oil
1/2 t chipotle tabasco (I use more because I like the smokey flavor)

Combine all ingredients. Pound chicken flat. Marinade chicken for 2 hours, then grill.

Sweet and smokey!

Not much else new here, but my favorite Rae quote of the day was, "Mom, when I grow up, can I do the laundry?" My response: "Rae Rae, I love you so much!"


Cool Barn

Every time I drive to and from the cities on our new detour, I drive past this really cool, really old, really picturesque barn. I finally stopped along the side of the road and took a picture of it the other day. I love this photo.

4th of July 2010

We had a very fun and...shall we say...eventful Independence Day.

If you read the previous post, you know what I'm getting at. But really, it was a beautiful and very fun day. We started the morning with church, then came home for lunch and to shoot off some fireworks for the girls. Yes, it was broad daylight at noon, but when you have a 1 and 3 year old, you take whatever time slot you can get for shooting off fireworks! :) The girls were so sweet in their matching dresses that my mom bought for them.

After lunch and naps, the girls and I headed down to my parents for Sunday dinner. I brought their swimsuits, and they had so much fun playing with uncle Joe (and Jake, the dog) in the pool.

My brother, Nate, broke his collar bone in two places while longboarding last week. This was the first time we saw him with his new sling and his new haircut. He used to have a pony tail -- but can no longer reach it to style it, so he chopped it off. (Oh, and isn't my Mama beautiful?)

The excitement began after dinner when the girls and I headed back to Princeton for the fireworks display at the fairgrounds. It was a step of faith to even attempt the fireworks with two young children, since they didn't even start until after 10:00 pm (normal bedtime is 8:30 pm).

Much to our delight, both of the girls were extremely sweet, pleasant, and excited the entire time! When the fireworks started, they were both in complete awe and amazement, and so happy.

Then, out of the blue, it happened. Ruby had been leaning against my chest, looking up at the sky, when all of the sudden she leaned forward and started puking everywhere. Thank God there was nobody sitting directly in front of us in the bleachers.

I had to quickly get her out of the stands, strip her down to her diaper, and give her a baby wipe bath. The whole time, she never cried or whined once -- she just went right back to watching the fireworks as I wiped her down and cleaned her up. We ended up walking away from the fireworks just before the grand finale, which was disappointing, but necessary.

Looking back, there were a couple warning signs we could have paid attention to. She had been tired for her nap earlier than normal and slept longer than normal. She also didn't have much of an appetite at lunch or dinner (which made me feel horrible, because I made her eat anyhow). And when we got to the fairgrounds, JP bought some mini donuts and french fries, and she turned both of them down -- which is VERY unusual for Ruby! She wasn't fussy or upset at all; she just smiled and said, "No thank you, Daddy!"

Neither of the girls got to bed until almost 11:00 pm that night, but they were such sweet princesses the whole time. Ruby was back to her old self today, and Rae hasn't shown any signs of feeling poorly either. Thank you, Jesus!