Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I just had to post this recipe since it was a hit tonight at the swim party. Thanks to Cathy, my MIL that turned me on to this yummy and easy recipe.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

(This is a great dessert but could also be a great breakfast in lieu of cinnamon rolls or monkey bread. Mike ate some of ours for dessert last night and breakfast this morning!)

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
2 (8 ounce) packages of crescent rolls
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract (I used vanilla)
1/2 cup of margarine, melted
1/2 cup of cinnamon sugar (I totally did not measure I just liberally sprinkled)

Using a 9 x 13 pan, unroll one package of crescent rolls and line the bottom of the pan.
Mix together cream cheeses, sugar, and extract and spread over crescent rolls.
Unroll the other can of crescent rolls and place on top of cream cheese mixture.
Pour one stick of melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Your house will smell so good while it is baking.

Laura's notes: I made one for us to practice before taking it somewhere. I forgot to use the margarine on ours and I did not notice that big of a difference. It saves tons of fat and calories to withhold butter. Hope you enjoy this-it is yummy!:)

**Update-My MIL Cathy just emailed me to tell me that she actually uses three cream cheeses and two cups of sugar which seems to me would make the yummy filling in the middle even better and more plentiful:)

Sweet smile

I can tell that Hope has been working so hard on smiling and Mike and I have had a little friendly debate on who Hope would smile first for. Today I got a smile out of her!!!! Amazingly the camera was nearby and I got the above pictures! I know that Hope is smiling because we just checked our latest Etsy purchases and they are on the way! (You remember the baby bling hairbow right? It is being shipped right now!) On Mike's behalf I will remind you that I spend all day long with Hope while he is working so I definitely have the time advantage over him on the smiling contest.

We are having a home day today because it is raining. Yesterday we hit the movies to see Hotel for Dogs. It was a great movie and both boys enjoyed it. Kyle has a swim team party later tonight that he is excited about. I have to make a dessert for the party and I am taking Sopapilla Cheesecake. Mike's Mom told me about the recipe and I made it last night for us for practice before I take it to a function tonight. It was heavenly and I will post the recipe tomorrow with party pictures. It was such an easy dessert and it made the whole house smell cinnamony and wonderful. I am really into cooking right now-having no kitchen and being forced to eat out will do that for you. I have spent lots of time online looking up family friendly dishes for us to try. I love to make healthy family meals that everyone will eat:)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cute Legs and Kitchen

Well, it is Monday and I just wanted to share some more kitchen remodel pics. The nice guys from Red Oak are still here working away on grouting our new tile. There is light at the end of the tunnel as they think they can get the stove and dishwasher back in its place by the time they leave today. I never thought I would say this, but I really miss cooking!

Here is a picture of our new floor and a picture of the new shade of yellow that Mike's Mom painted our kitchen! It all goes so well together now:)

Our stove in our family room-uggh.

Our fridge in the middle of our plywood hallway.

These adorable things on Hope's legs are called Baby Legs. I bought them for the fall, but since we are having a freakishly cool summer, I pulled them out for a quick trip to Walmart yesterday when I did not want to change her clothes! They are similar to the 1980's Jane Fonda leg warmers (yes I am showing my age) that go on a baby when you need a little warmth to those sweet baby legs. I need to go get some more since they look so cute on her for this fall. I totally dig them:)

Saturday, July 25, 2009


There has been a touch of Hollywood around our house this past week. It all started last Monday morning when Kyle auditioned for and got a part as a chameleon in the play Robinson Crusoe. There is a children's theatre that comes to town once a year called The Missoula Children's Theatre where local children put on a play in one week. He has practiced all week and today was the big performance! It was awesome -- Mike and I even stayed around to watch the second performance. The children did a wonderful job, and Kyle was exhausted but pumped up after both performances.

I also received word that my dear friend Tracy from Tennessee who made Hope a beautiful bracelet has named that bracelet after Hope and Hope's beautiful picture is on Tracy's jewelry blog! Click on Little Beady Bird jewelry on the right side of my blog and you will see sweet Hope and read about the Hope bracelet. You really must see how pretty Hope looks on someone else's blog! Kyle is so amazed about the Hope bracelet and has made me click on Tracy's jewelry blog several times to see her! (okay, here is my plug for Tracy's jewelry) You must go to her jewelry blog and see what she is making these days. She is making me a photo jewelry piece that I cannot wait to see. She does awesome work and is such a joy to work with. She will make your jewelry perfect for you or the little girl in your life!)

Also, today we opened the local paper and guess who was on the front of the sports section? David playing T-ball! We have loved every minute of watching him play T-ball this season and to see his picture in the paper is so special.

Also, if you remember my grandfather caught this huge catfish on July 4th. My Mom gave me the idea to submit the picture to the Roanoke Times for the fishing report. Well, guess my email was persuasive enough and the fish impressive enough to land him in the Thursday fishing report! We did not tell him that we were submitting the picture, so imagine his surprise when he opened the paper and saw his picture there!!

Next week will truly be boring as we all return to a much more normal life and our touch of Hollywood is gone. Real life still means a torn up kitchen and dust everywhere. I know this too shall pass, but it is driving me crazy!! Off to bed-it is so exhausting have children that are so famous-ha!

Kyle is in the middle of his fellow chameleons!

During the finale.

I love that face sticking out of that chameleon costume:)

The entire cast during the grand finale.

David's big debut in the local paper. He was so excited to see his picture in the paper:)

My grandfather's big catch that landed him in the Roanoke Times!

Friday, July 24, 2009


The above pictures are David at a local soccer clinic that is happening here each week. The high school soccer coach is volunteering his time to run a soccer skills clinic for young children. I think it is a great idea and both boys are participating in it:) Above are pictures of David warming up and then in his group. I love his legs covered with those shin guards. He was so proud of himself all decked out like Kyle! We got tickled because halfway through practice, he sat down with one of the coaches and rested in the shade! That is David for you!:)

The kitchen remodel is going good, but for the last two days we have truly not been allowed to be on the floor while the new tiles set. Uggh, it is so incredibly hard but I know it will all be worth it. I am taking the kids to the lake today to get away from the dust and mess.

I took Hope to the doctor yesterday and there is a new game plan for her reflux. It appears that little Princess has a resistance to milk protein which means that she cannot tolerate dairy at all. So, I can either stop nursing and give her soy formula or I can continue nursing but cut out all dairy from my diet. Yikes, that sounded easy in the doctor's office until I came home and started reading labels of the food that I could get to in our kitchen. I will for now continue nursing and watch my diet closely and see if that helps. She also switched her meds. Hope weighed in at 9 pounds 2 ounces yesterday which means that her weight gain continues to be steady and appropriate for a breast fed baby.

On another note, the medical tests that we have been waiting for came back with good results!!! God is good:) My Dad has experienced some "floppiness" in his foot which concerned his regular doctor enough to send him to a neurologist. The neurologist wanted to do an MRI to look for really scary stuff in his brain that I cannot even type. Praise God his MRI turned out okay and now we can just tease him that he is a clutz after all!! Just kidding Dad-love you!

I am off to pack my SUV with beach towels, bathing suits, juice boxes etc.. it is amazing what planning needs to go into an afternoon at the lake. This is our first really nice sunny day in a long time and we are going to take advantage of it! Have a great weekend! I will post Kyle's play pictures over the weekend. I am so excited to see what he has worked so hard on this week in play practice! We are going to both shows tomorrow and I am sure it will be fun. Anytime you get children involved in a play, it is memorable:)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jesus Calling

I know on this blog I have shared with you our love for 33 Miles. We have loved the song Jesus Calling since we got the CD for Christmas. Recently however this song has spoken volumes to me and is my new favorite song for the moment. I love the video (click above) because it shares the words which are so perfect for this time in our life right now.

Currently in our life we have a huge remodel going on in our home which means that I have to be up and ready early each morning before the guys get here to start work-not exactly fun with a new baby in the house! Our house is literally torn up and piled up which is a feeling that I can only handle for so long before I go nuts! I have no control over this which is really hard especially since we have had Mike's mother visit with us for over a week. We have had to eat out a bunch, but thankfully she rolled with it well. It was hard for this control freak momma not to have the house spotless for her visit.

We also have some unexpected health concerns going on in my extended family. I will share more details as I can, but please pray for our family while we wait on some test results that we are desperate to receive. I am trying to have faith and not worry, but it is difficult with all these hormones raging through my body.

We are still having major reflux issues with Hope which means that there are times throughout the day where she is really fussy and needs lots of love. She is sleeping great at night, but after she eats she is really fussy. I see the pediatrician later today, so maybe there are some additional ideas she may have to help with this reflux.

But, as the song talks about, there maybe times that you think the sky is falling, but Jesus is still calling to us during these times. I SO need to hear that right now because I feel like life is out of control. I love the line where it says that the darker the night the lighter He can shine! That is so true in our life right now where we are so blessed and can count them one by one, but there are also big challenges right now. We are so blessed-as I am writing this, Hope is tucked peacefully and happily in the sling and I can hear her sweet sleeping noises. Kyle is helping David with a new tool belt he got for his birthday. Mike is at work in a job we are so thankful for and I am home with my kiddos. Sometimes in life we can get overwhelmed when we have big "storms" BUT that is the time when we count our blessings and remember that Jesus is always calling us and in the darkness is when He can shine:) Enjoy the song, it rocks!

p.s. 33 Miles is playing nearby in Roanoke on the 30th of July. We are trying hard to get to go!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Big Weekend

This weekend was super busy and full of special events for us. Sunday morning we had Hope baptized. Mike's Mom got to be here for that event as well as my grandparents and parents. She was pretty good during the service but she did not care for all that water sprinkled over her.

After the baptism, we then hosted a birthday party for David here at the house with some kindergarten friends! We scaled back David's party this year due to the craziness in our lives. As I am writing this, there is banging ringing in my ears as the contractors are here trying to get our house back together plus the added craziness of a newborn. It is so hard to be under construction with small children home for the summer:) Anyway, the party was a blast and the birthday boy had fun! Below are some pics of all the fun! The picture above is when David is waiting on the porch for his friends to arrive! How adorable...

David's friend Ally getting her face painted. Ashley did some face painting for the party and it was a HUGE hit!

David blowing out his number 5 candle! Where has the time gone?

This is David's friend Hailey from school. David talks about Hailey everyday of his life and we just pray that they are in kindergarten together! She broke our hearts when she cried when the party was over:)

I adore this picture of Will and David. They were both painted up by Ashley and giving big love!

The waterslide was a hit even if the weather was a big chilly for the party.

My parents loving on Hope during the party.

Mike, his Mom Cathy and the kids after church. We have enjoyed her visit here so much. She lives in Texas and runs two businesses there so she is not able to come here that often.

Our family of five!
My grandparents with sweet Hope
My Mom got this great picture of Hope during her baptism:)

The kitchen work should be done soon which will be such a blessing for us. We will enjoy the new floors, but it has been a challenge. Mike's Mom flies out tomorrow to head back to Texas, but out week will still be busy as Kyle is taking part in the Missoula Children's theatre's production of Robinson Crusoe!! He auditioned and got a part as a chameleon in the play!! They practice all week with performances happening this weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

State of Affairs

Wow-life can come at you fast and you can choose how to react! This week we have had our plates full with our kitchen in demolition phase (see above picture) as we are enjoying Mike's mother's visit from Texas. We are also planning a birthday party where we have already had to change the date due to the weather forecast. I have to admit that in my current hormonal state I am rolling with all this pretty well except for a few things:

1) Yesterday I turned to online retail therapy while nursing and ended up ordering a hairbow collection from Etsy. I did not realize until I received the receipt via email that one of the hairbows I ordered was called "Baby Blitz and Bling!" Oh my... I cannot wait to see Hope modeling the bling!

2) I talked to the contractor yesterday with spitup on one shoulder and breastmilk stains on the other side. Oh well...thankfully he is a friend of our family and they are in our Down Syndrome group. I was horrified temporarily and then decided to laugh it off:)

3) David's party had to be moved due to the weather forecast and considering I am a little OCD about my children's parties, I never freaked one moment!!

4) Lets just say that I have been a tad liberal with the bathing rules for my children this week!:)

Times in your life when you feel out of control is hard for this control freak Momma. We are at the mercy of our contractors and insurance adjusters. During the demolition phase, they realized that additional work needed to be done and thankfully our insurance adjuster agreed with the contractors. I know that this will all be worth it when we are enjoying our new floors, but it has put a pinch in our family life. I have a new favorite song that I will be posting soon when I can find it! Have a great weekend and stay tuned for more remodeling pictures:)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hope 1 Month

I cannot believe one month ago today Hope came into our lives officially! In a way it still seems like we are adjusting to the newness of her, but then in other ways I cannot remember life without her. I really LOVE these decals that I received at a baby shower to help you to take pictures of your baby each month! (Please help me to remember to do them each month on the 15th)! There is a decal for each month and you simply stick it to a onesie:) I love this idea so much and I have been looking forward all day to doing Hope's photo shoot for the month:) I did this while David was sitting on the potty, so time was of the essence today!

Hope is such a joy despite the uncomfortableness she feels due to the reflux. At her weight check two days ago she weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces!!! I love a girl with a good appetite! She nurses all the time and loves to be held or carried in the sling. Our current nickname for her is Hopester or Pretty Girl. She is handling this crazy summer pace of our family well and has finally decided that the car seat maybe is not that bad after all.

I am working on another post trying to share the current status of our family life including kitchen demolition pictures and such. I know I will look back on this time of our life as a blur. I took all 3 kids to the lake yesterday because we had to be gone all day for the contractors that never showed up. This process takes much patience, but it will all be worth it when it is complete. Mike is going tonight to pick up his Mom from the airport for a week long visit. I know her week will pass quickly as we prepare for David's party, hit the festival at the lake, and have Hope baptized on Sunday.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eventful Weekend

This weekend has been pretty eventful for our family. The action started Friday night where Kyle played in an All Star game in Bristol. The team lost (but played so hard) which ended our All Star season. Saturday morning we went to Virginia Tech for a swim meet for Kyle. Kyle swam very well and lowered all his times in his events! He came in second for his age group and got several first places. He loves the competition of meets and gets so excited to compete. Often when he is "on the block" to get ready to swim, he is jumping up and down with excitement.

After the game, my boys headed to the Salem Red Sox game with my Dad. They had a ball despite some rain. While the boys were at the game, Mom, Hope, and I went shopping for some much needed items. Mom bought Hope this adorable tummy time mat that is shaped like a surfboard! Our weekend ended by getting the house ready for kitchen demolition TOMORROW! I am amazingly calm about the whole thing considering I have a new baby and Mike's Mom is coming from Texas Wednesday and we are hosting a birthday party for David. Thankfully we are getting it catered so our kitchen is not needed to get ready for the party:)

In the picture above, Kyle was behind in the backstroke to this cute boy, but came back and won! He was so excited to see this picture and to see that he came from behind.

Freestyle! Kyle really loves backstroke and freestyle races these days:)

Go Kyle Go! Here he is ready to dive in for the 50 freestyle race!

Tummy time on her new surfboard! She was more interested in sucking her arm than raising her head!!
We also did another Hope first this weekend! Hope had her first tub bath! As you can tell, she LOVED it-ha! Kyle pretty much bathed her while I took pictures and coached him on what to do. He was so excited to bathe her and try out her new tub!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Over the last day or so we have started to pull out what infant toys we still have for Hope to enjoy. The boys LOVE having all this new stuff out and that Hope is happy playing on a blanket in the floor. I love the picture of her looking in the mirror! I stepped out of the room while Kyle was playing with her and I heard him say "now you can see yourself what a pretty baby you are!" My heart melted....

This picture confirms my thoughts that Hope is going to be a blonde and that she looks exactly like Kyle did as an infant. She truly reminds me of Kyle:)

Kyle is such a great big brother and he loves to hold her. We are still not comfortable with Kyle carrying her around the house yet, but he is getting braver about picking her head up and talking to her.

Hope checking her self out in the mirror!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


We are in the midst of an All Star Tournament. Kyle was excited to learn after regular season that he made the All Star team for our town. He is one of the youngest kids on the team. We have had many practices to get ready for this tournament in Bristol. The first game we lost, but last night we won! We continue play on Friday night and on into the weekend if we keep winning. I act pretty nonchalant about the whole thing until the National Anthem and then I get REALLY nervous. I hold my breath when Kyle comes up to bat and I pray hard!! I was so excited that Mike was not coaching All Stars so we could sit together, but it has really turned out that we sit together very little. I end up pacing with Hope and Mike and David sit pretty still. We have a great group of kids on the team and supportive parents. It is fun family time even if I feel like I am going to throw up during most of the game!! I love the picture above of all 3 kiddos in red to support the team-even Hope had red to wear:)

How We are REALLY Doing

As life flies by in one fat blur, many people each day will ask me how we are doing. Usually I smile and say that we are doing great and that we are enjoying sweet Hope and having the boys home for the summer. Last night during a quick trip to Wendy's with all three children, my parents, and Ashely, I may not have answered so sweetly and positively. Hope screamed during dinner and then David had a slight ice cream meltdown:) It was one of those harried moments as a Mom that often makes you wonder why you even go out in public!!

But this morning as I was nursing Hope I really thought about how life has changed since Hope's arrival 23 days ago:) (Kyle is our math dude that keeps count for us!) Anyway, yes life is a bit more hectic and Pentagon style planning goes into even little trips to Walmart, but there have been so many amazing moments that make all that other stuff go away.

It is amazing to watch Kyle step up and be an AMAZING big brother to both Hope and David. Kyle can break out into Jesus Loves Me and Hope quiets immediately. Kyle can have a whiny streak to him and to see him put that away when Hope is upset is awesome. I love to hear his sweet voice talk to her:) He goes off the deep end when she cries despite our constant reminders that all babies cry and that we are coming!

David has grown right before our eyes this summer. He is oh so independent these days and his speech is getting clearer each day. He loves being a big 5 year old and we are all seeing his personality come through. He loves Hope and mimics me a lot with her. He brings me burp clothes to burp him and is fascinated about breast feeding. He has several times started to suck my arm and when I asked him what Mommy was feeding him he will reply "a hamburger!"

Most days I feel like life is a big juggling act, but I love every minute of having a newborn in the house. I am getting decent sleep for a newborn, but I am pitifully behind in thank you notes. I am so touched and overwhelmed with all the amazing and thoughtful gifts, food, baby jewelry, fun outings for the big boys from generous friends, but I know my thank you note will not properly convey my thankfulness. One of my cousins in NC, Katie, sent me awesome books that were girly! She knew we probably had tons of trucks and sport books, so she sent some girly books. That is thoughtful:) One of Mike's aunts and nieces in Arkansas sent us letters to spell out Hope's name in her nursery. I had desperately wanted letters for her name, but I just have not found the letters I wanted and these were perfect!! The Davidson's bought all three of my children UVA clothing while they were visiting Cville and thought of us. We have received gifts from my parents church where I have not regularly gone since college. I am just overwhelmed with people's generosity.

We are still worried about Hope's reflux which means that my diet is pretty restricted since I am nursing. She spits up often due to the reflux but she is continuing to put on weight which is good. She sleeps in her car seat due to the reflux. She is still in newborn clothing, but I can tell that she is filling out some.

We are off to an All Star game again tonight. Between All Star practice, Tball games, and all Star games we have been at the ballfield every night this week. We also have a swim meet this weekend at Virginia Tech. I love watching my boys play ball and watching Kyle swim. I guess the next two decades of my life will be spent shuffling children and cheering them on their endeavors. This pace of life is crazy and exhausting, but I would not trade it for anything. Whether we are going to All Stars or to a swim meet we are together and there are such great life lessons tucked in to all these experiences.

So, if you see me out in public with spit up all over me, bags under my eyes, and at least one of my children screaming or whining just know that we are doing okay and that I really would not trade this time in our life for anything.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

July 4th this year was a tad chilly, but we had a good time at my grandparents' lake house. It took us a while to get up there since we had been out past midnight the night before at Kyle's All Star Tournament in Bristol. Unfortunately our team lost the first round, but we play again later this week.

My boys had fun with their cousin Clayton, and Hope despite some reflux spit up enjoy being snuggled by the family. The highlight of the entire day was watching my 80 year old grandfather catch a 15 pound Blue Cat fish! The boys watched in awe as he caught it and then later as my Dad filleted the fish. (I might have nightmares over watching that process for many months to come, but the boys loved it!) I am not a huge animal rights person, but that process REALLY bothered me.

I will sum up the rest of our holiday with pictures!

My grandmother with Clayton and David on the boat. We took a boat ride while the sun was out since it was so chilly. David adores riding on that boat and he talked Uncle Chad into taking him on a ride:)

Uncle Chad with his co-pilots on the boat:) We got so tickled at Clayton's oversized sunglasses and his 1970's life jacket. We just grabbed the jackets and it wasn't until we were on the boat that Chad and I both realized that we wore that same jacket as a child:)

Since the family was together we had a little birthday party for David after dinner since his birthday is July 5th! His friend party is later to come when Mike's Mom comes in 2 weeks to visit us. We thought it would be fun to save the party for her visit so she can be part of the party!
This fish is impressive! My grandfather caught this right from his dock. It took about 10 minutes for him to bring him in, and we all cheered him on!!:) The boys were cheering for him and really it wore him out to bring this big fish in.

I was using the back of the golf cart to change Hope's clothes and she looked so sweet laying on her white blanket, that I just had to snap a picture:) It was so chilly that she wore many outfits yesterday!

Here is Hope in her 4th of July outfit and I actually caught her smiling!

Kyle and neighbor, Peyton tubing on the big tube. These boys had a ball out there and the chilly water temperature did not seem to bother them one bit!