Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What Do You Do With All That Snow?

Why, you make snow ice cream, of course!

But first you have to get you a super cute Husby to go scoop it up. 




Here is the best recipe we have found for the winter treat.  It's seriously SO good.



8 cups Snow
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp vanilla (we use a bit more)

Mix all together, and enjoy!  You can add sprinkles, cocoa powder, crushed up cookies - whatever your little heart desires.  Or just eat it plain like I do.  It reminds me of that homemade ice cream that you spend hours churning.


Now, hopefully you get some more snow this year so you can try it out for yourself.  Yum!

Monday, March 16, 2015

That Time We Had 104 (and counting) Inches of Snow!

The snow up here has been unlike anything we've ever seen or experienced.  Just gobs and gobs of snow dumped on us day after day .... after day.  It's pretty incredible.  Our total so far is at 104 inches.  We literally have not seen a blade of grass since January 1.  There has been FEET of snow on the ground ever since.  Amazing.  And absolutely beautiful!!

Something that is fascinating to me is the lake froze earlier than usual this year, bringing the lake effect snow totals down.  So a ton of the snow that we have received hasn't been lake effect.  I can not imagine how it would have been had the lake not frozen so early.  Wowza!

Here are some snapshots of one of the snowiest cities in the USA!



(The lake)



A couple houses that aren't mine...


In the one below, the snow was literally half way up their house.  Incredible!


(Our driveway.)

And.... our backyard!




(Actually touching the ground in this picture.  In most of the other ones, we are walking on top of snow.)




(His little legs can't walk through it! So he just sits on top of it and eats it. Haha!)




Absolutely UNREAL!

What a winter to remember! :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Love Day!

I know, I realize I am a month behind on updates, but whatt'ya do?

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone and this one was a super sweet one.  It's one of my very favorite days of the year and I just get so much joy making things special for the ones I love.

The boys were super excited to wake up to this fun table!


I must admit.  I just took the hot air balloons down last week.  They were just so fun and cheerful I liked looking at them. :)


I always make the boys in my life a special V-day breakfast, and they were thrilled!


Cinnabun cake, hashbrowns, quiche, and chocolate covered strawberries!


Oh, and when they woke up in the morning and opened the door, they were greeted with this:


I've done this every Valentine's Day since Levi was a baby and they look forward to it every year!  So cute.

Husby had a game to work that afternoon, and then we went out on a family date (uh, those are all our dates) to our favorite - Firebirds.  The meal was excellent and the company was even better.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

That Time We Went To Punxsy.

Something special about living up here in Pennsylvania for a year with my little family are the super fun memories we are making together.  I always envision us looking back fondly of our time here saying, "Remember that time we....", and reliving the moments, smiling and laughing.

One holiday that will never quite be the same for us is Groundhog Day.  From the time I learned we were moving here, I was determined to spend Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA and to find Punxsutawney Phil.  I mean, how many chances in life do we have to do this?  Likely ... once.  So I grabbed it and ran with it!


We made the two hour drive from Erie to Punxsy and it snowed the entire way.  It made for an absolutely gorgeous drive, and driving in and out of all the small old towns was too fun.  So charming, those main streets.


When we got to Punxsy, it was the day before the big day and there was a festival in the town square (town squares - a LOVE of my heart).  We partook in all the festivities and the boys were super excited about all things groundhog.  The town goes NUTS for groundhogs, I tell you.


There were these groundhog statues all over town and we took pictures with as many as we could find.  Levi had a blast doing that.  :)  We found the best little souvenir shop and loaded up on Punxsy Phil goodies.  (Ezra still sleeps with his every single night!)




The highlight of the festival was seeing the one and only PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL!  Oh, I was so excited!  I read the plaque to the boys of how old he is and the special meal he eats every spring to live so long ;), and we just had so much fun watching him in his little burrow.  He was eating Ritz crackers, which I found super funny.


(Making our predictions!)

After partaking in all the fun in the town square, we headed out for THE place - The Gobbler's Knob!  Since it was the evening before the big event, the news crews were all out there getting things set up. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL down there.  I can't even explain it.  With the peaceful surroundings set down among enormous trees, the snow peacefully falling, and the quiet excitement of Groundhog Day, it was just wonderful.  Such a fun moment with my boys.





We ended our day at none other than ...


of course!

We had a super delicious breakfast for supper and eavesdropped on the locals around us telling visitors like us the do's and don't's of Gobbler's Knob.  So fun!


We had to head back home after supper, but not before a stop at a local bakery for some festive treats!


Husby had to work the next morning, so we didn't stay to see if Phil saw his shadow or not, but really ... I wouldn't have wanted to.  Apparently it starts at 3AM., and there are no lawn chairs or anything allowed on the property.  So you basically have to stand there in a crowd of thousands in the wee hours of the morning in wet snow.  And cold.  With children.  Um, nope.

It all worked out beautifully for us and we truly had a day we'll never forget.  On the actual GH Day, we watched Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and had a greater appreciation for that fun flick.  Husby said on the way home how this day will never look the same to us, since we truly "experienced it".  It's typically a day that just passes without another thought for us, but now it's special to us.


Special times with my people.  Blessings!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Moments in Time

Let's talk about the dinner we had last night in Cleveland's Little Italy. 

One of the best meals of my life, but not only because of the food...

First came this fresh, hot bread that I'll just let you see for yourself. An herbed butter sitting in a pool of olive oil?! Flavor explosion. 

Our waiter told us of a "special salad" of the night on the starter menu, and when he got half way through describing it, I stopped listening. (I had already found the one I wanted. The one with basil, tomato, and fresh mozzarella. Fresh, delicious, safe.) Darin perked up somewhere in the midst of this man's monologue of le salad and re-described it to me when he stepped away, asking if I wanted to split as an appetizer. There was a sparkle in Darin's eye (I knew he wanted it - he loves weird stuff) and his cute side grin he gets when he doesn't know what I'll say. I threw caution to the wind and surprised him with a "why not"!

Shortly after, arrived THE salad: winter persimmons wrapped in prosciutto on top a bed of mixed greens with goat cheese and walnuts, tossed with lemon juice and a pomegranate vinaigrette. It sounds extremely pretentious, I know. But goodness gracious sakes alive, where can I buy me a persimmon tree?! I'm taking this salad back to Oklahoma!  

(Wouldn't you know I forgot to take a picture of it? And it was so pretty!) 

Then came our entrees. Darin got a fettuccini carbonara and I got the cheese tortellini that won all types of awards. When I took the first bite I was blown away. It was creamy yet spicy, hearty yet smooth, precisely al dente yet almost melted in my mouth.

It was perfect. It all was perfect. 

That meal, last night with my fellas, was one of those "moments". You know how life is comprised of countless minutes, but there are the moments that you experience that stand out and give life such meaning, but you can't really explain why?  A place in time you never forget and can relive in a heartbeat, almost as if the world stood still. "Moments", for me, bring insurmountable peace. We shared a beautiful meal in a small room of a 100+ year old building, watching the snow fall in the moonlight, eavesdropping on the tables next to us because we were so close together, laughing and reminiscing, and simply enjoying. 

Levi was sitting next to me, and kept leaning over to kiss my cheek and tell me he loves me. I think he was having a moment, too. :) Ezra .... well, he tore his bread up into tiny pieces and started lapping them up like a dog off of his plate, laughing with glee all the while. He was certainly having a moment of his own. Oh, life with littles is an unpredictable one! 

The food was excellent, yes, but it was the entire experience that made it one of the best meals of my life. It may seem silly to describe this dinner with such sentiment, but when you're so far away from family and familiarity, sometimes the minutes are long and overwhelming and hard. It is these moments with my husband and kids that keep me going. And I'll cherish every one. 

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