March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Pursuit

Fall is definitely in the air here in north central Alabama. Cooler temperatures make me crave comfort food and what is better comfort food than macaroni and cheese. The idea of homemade mac 'n cheese has always epitomized comport food in my head, but none of the recipes I had tried in the past ever measured up to how cheesy and delicious I wanted it to taste. Well, this summer I finally found a recipe that measured up all the way around the table at our house. Mary Frances even requested it for her birthday dinner. Be careful not to add too much nutmeg - a little goes a surprisingly long way.

Here goes:

Three Cheese Pasta Bake

1 (8oz) package penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup half and half
½ cup (4 oz) shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup (8 oz) shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
· Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
· Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking
constantly one minute. Gradually whisk in milk and half and half, cook constantly 3-5 minutes or until thickened.

An aside “until thickened” always takes me longer than a recipe say even when I increase
the temperature. Any suggestions welcome! Now on with the recipe~

· Stir in cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, ½ cup Gruyere and the next three ingredients
until smooth.
· Stir together pasta and cheese mixture. Pour into lightly greased 11x17 inch baking dish.
· Top with remaining Gruyere. Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes – until golden and

Now that you've read the recipe you can tell it is just cheesy enough for the children's taste buds and the Gruyere cheese adds a grown-up element but in truth what grown-up doesn't love good ol' fashioned mac 'n cheese. Probably only those who are watching their waistlines...

I owe a whole lot of people recipes so I am going to try to catch up. Sorry no pictures today~

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Not bad...

I finished two out of the three! Not bad if I do say so myself especially since Walker wanted nothing to do with sitting with his brother and sister to get a picture take. It made me feel better in the end. I won't tell you how late I stayed up or how early I got up but Mary Frances and Stephen were able to wear their new clothes for pictures on Friday. Let's just say it was a good thing that Frank was out of town. I felt like Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. Instead of never before had the sun seemed to go down so fast, I felt like never before had the sun come up so quickly. By the way, the book is one of Stephen's current favorite books. He can listen to it over and over again. He wants to check out the other Virginia Lee Burton books from the library. He turns the book over and points and asks what it is and then says, "we can check those out of the library" so they are on my list for the week.

We were so excited to have a relatively dry day that the boys and I went to the park for a few minutes before picking Mary Frances up from school. They had a ball. I wish I had pictures of Walker in the swing, but I was a bit leery of carrying the camera in without a bag. I'm afraid I've broken some part of it.

Check out our precious new sweaters ~ hand delivered by Tootsie on Thursday evening because she knew the temperatures were going to drop. And drop they did! I don't knit and don't really have any desire to learn how because Frank's mom creates such marvelous sweaters for my children. Stephen was particularly proud of his puppy dog. He was telling anyone who would listen that his Tootsie made it for him.
Almost finished... The Power of New Play Dough

I have had this bag of play dough and accessories in my sewing closet for at least a year, but there has been no need to pull it out. Well on Friday, there was need. I was looking around the house at all the picking up, vacuuming, dusting, etc... that needed to be completed as well as wondering what I was going to do for supper when I pulled out this treasure. They played sweetly, together for over an hour while I completed some of the tasks at hand and it is a good thing.
Little did I know this face was the beginning of a weekend of bellyaches for all of us!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Sweet Boys in Helicopters

Well, I finally finished the helicopter outfits for my boys and they are a wonderful reminder of why I can't stop sewing or throw my sewing machine out of the window. Recently, I've had both of those thoughts a lot because I have so many ideas and can't seem to complete anything. I have to remind myself that I will never have enough time to do all the ideas that I can think up in my head, and I just need to be grateful for what I get done. Please forgive me for my pride, but I think my little ones look precious in these new outfits.

Stephen wore his to school yesterday for his school pictures, and he was so excited to wear it. Though he was a bit sad when we told him that daddy was riding on an airplane not a helicopter to get to California today.

My sweet Stephen...The boys were finishing lunch and I was unloading the dishes. Stephen looked at me and said "you wash those." I answered, "yes, they are clean," and he responded "thank you." He is always the first to show appreciation when someone does something for him. I hope and really expect my children to say "thank you" when they receive something from someone, but this is different. Almost daily, Stephen will realize that I (or someone else - usually Frank or sometimes Tootsie) have something for him. He always acknowledges it, and then looks me in the eyes and and says "thank you!" It melts my heart each and every time. I hope he can keep this grateful spirit

As for my Walker these are not the greatest pictures. The lighting is off and the background is dreadful but just check out that hair....

and cheeks!

My sweet third child... He scoots like Mary Frances did at 9 months and has the most precious smile. Every now and then he puts both hands on the floor and his weight on his feet so it looks like he is trying to stand up. Maybe he will be my bear crawler. We finally stopped swaddling him when we put him to sleep. Hopefully that will give him more opportunities to move since he isn't confined to his papoose during sleep. Poor thing~every thing he tries to pull up on falls over on top of him. I've seen it happen with the kitchen stool and a chair. I'm trying to prevent it, but inevitably it is going to happen again.
Frank is away for the remainder of the week and I have LOTS of sewing I would love to accomplish. You know me - it won't all get done, but a girl can dream can't she. School pictures are a huge motivation! The wonderful director at my children's preschool scheduled pictures for the entire week instead of just one day. She is so kind to let me get Walker's picture taken even though he is not enrolled this year. She also said I could get the three taken together, and so I sew with a goal of Friday morning.
I am beating myself up...I've inadvertently let my teaching certificate lapse. In reality it isn't a huge deal because I was going to have to take college classes to keep it up anyway. It sounds like I will have to take three additional hours and possibly re-take the Praxis examinations. I guess this is my motivation to clean up my filing so I can get to my Praxis results, dates, and phone numbers. Say a little prayer that they will still transfer, but I'm not counting on it. I'm mad at myself for completely missing it and then frustrated that the people at the Department of Education are not very helpful. I'm trying to cut myself some slack that three children and being out of the classroom for 5 falls now counts for something, but I can't stand that I missed it. Who knows if I will ever go back to the classroom, but I want to keep my options open. I love the idea of teaching kindergarten in an inner-city district once my children are all in school.
Okay, I best go check on my big two who were sitting on the wet front steps watching the neighbors play football in our soggy front yard. Have I mentioned that I am considering building an ark?