Tag Archive | Family

A Proud Moment in Motherhood!

We have been delighting in such joy at our house lately. I’m proud to announce that little man can officially walk!! I’m such a proud mama and my husband is such a proud daddy. A few weeks back little man took his first four steps toward his dad. It was so magical that we were all together to see it happen. Since then, he really didn’t walk. About a week ago my husband calls to me “he’s walking” and when I popped my head around the corner he had stopped and sat down. I didn’t get to see anything! Then a few days ago little man was at it again. My husband decided to try and “bribe” little man into walking. Recently my sweetheart got a new wallet and wanted to pass on his old one to little man. So, he stood up little man and dangled the old wallet in front of our little guy. Soon, little man took a few steps in order to reach the wallet. Dad moved it further away, little man took a few more steps. And now little man is walking every day and all over the house. We are so proud of him and he is so proud of himself.

Here is a short video of little man walking that I took the other day.

A Wonderful Visit

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting over the last two weeks much. Well, my parents were in town visiting for little man’s first birthday. We were pretty busy. I finally finished and mailed off the last of the thank you cards and things are slowly returning to normal. So, over the last week and a half, we had a party with little man’s friends, visited Colonial Williamsburg, saw a very wet Virginia Beach (it poured down rain), strolled through naval history at the Mariner’s Museum (my dad’s favorite), learned about military history at the Casemate Museum, and petted lots of animals at the Blue Bird Gap Farm. I loved having my parents in town and so did little man. While they were here we ate tons of great food. We went out to two awesome restaurants and I cooked some new delicious dishes like Moroccan Lamb, Beef & Broccoli, and a White Bean Chicken Chili. The recipes will come soon I promise! In the mean time, here are a few stock photos of the places we visited. I’ll upload some of my own pictures soon too. Enjoy! And now I’m off to resume my mom duties and to clean the banana off my pants that little man just smeared. 🙂

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach

Mariner's Museum (The Monitor)

Mariner’s Museum (The Monitor)

Casemate Museum

Casemate Museum

Blue Bird Gap Farm

Blue Bird Gap Farm

*Please note that I do not take any credit for these pictures. They are thanks to a Google images search for the purpose of showing you a representation of the places I visited. I hope to replace these with some of my own pictures in the future.

Recipe: Texas Beef Skillet / Cheesy Chips and Beans

Texas Beef Skillet

Texas Beef Skillet / Cheesy Chips and Beans

This recipe is my Mom’s. I grew up eating this and it was one of my favorite meals. It brings so much comfort and it’s so healthy and cheap to make. Who knew growing up that my mom could cook such great tasting, healthy meals on a budget? I never knew then, but I’m happy to know now! The only modification I make is that I don’t use peppers (Mom would use 3 Tbs chopped green pepper), and I bump up the chips and cheese.


1 lb. Ground Beef
3/4 c Chopped Onion
16 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, with liquid
15 oz. can Kidney Beans, with liquid
1/2 c Water
1/2 c Rice, uncooked
1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1 c Shredded Cheese
Chips, crushed


In a high sided large skillet, cook beef and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in tomatoes, with liquid; kidney beans, with liquid; water; rice; chili powder; and garlic salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer covered 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Top with cheese. Cover and heat 3 minutes. Sprinkle chips around edge.

wpid-20130327_180652.jpg wpid-20130327_182820.jpg wpid-20130327_183613.jpg

In Remembrance


This post is dedicated to the memory of my grandma who passed away Monday evening. While I lived with her, we would drink tea in some old tea cups. When she moved from her house to an apartment / retirement home, many things were passed along or sold so she could fit a house into a two bedroom apartment. This tea cup was passed on to me. If my memory is right, this belonged to her mother (my great grandma) at one time. It was made in Prussia which doesn’t even exist anymore.

When I think of my grandma, I don’t think of things. When I look at some things, I think of grandma (like this tea cup). Thinking about “what I want of grandma’s”, I only came up with one thing. I want a picture of my grandparents together. I’d like to write on the back their names, the dates they lived, and when they got married. Really I just want a picture to look at and spark happy memories.

As hard as this time has been, I know that she is at peace and no longer in pain. I like to think that she is now reunited with my grandpa and they are sailing around in a yacht that he’s built while waiting for her. I miss her terribly and even if it’s hard to believe right now, I know that the pain will lesson and it will get easier to live with. I am so happy that we got to spend the time that we did.

Dear Grandma Sue, I love you! Be sure to give Grandpa Dick a big hug from all of us!

Holding it Together

I feel I must share some thoughts and feelings now. My grandmother is 83 years old and is the most amazing women I’ve ever met. I had the privilege of living with her for a couple of years after high school and I learned so much. Not just things I learned from her, but things I learned about her. She has lived an incredible, full life. Our family has known that we may not have much more time left with her for awhile now. When I got pregnant, I prayed that she would meet my son (who’s middle name is after her late husband). She met him for a few hours back in November and I loved that time we had.

Little Man and Great Grandma

Little Man and his Great Grandma

Recently, her health has been failing faster and I’ve held it together pretty well. I haven’t been in the thick of it like the rest of my family since I live so far away. Well, today I couldn’t keep it together any more. I’ve cried most of the day. I’m comforted only by the fact that my family can see my grandma and be with her in her last days. Yet it pains me to realize that I will most likely never see her again. She’s not gone yet, but I can’t give her a hug, or see her smile. I have an Aunt who visited her the other day and wrote about what was said. It was reading that, that made this a reality, a truth.

I know that my grandma has lived a very full life and has done some amazing things. She’s been to China and seen the great wall. They all built a 42 foot boat when my dad was 10, in their backyard! She’s met a president and various congressman and senators. She won awards for her amazing sewing skills. She’s beautiful and has a heart of gold, yet she’ll let you know if you’re out of line. Grandma and grandpa raised three amazing kids,  have 8 grandchildren and 1 great grand child (my son). There are millions of amazing stories that I’ve been told over the years. Some are so crazy you’d think it was from a movie. But it was my grandma’s life. I hope to grow up and be just as amazing as her.

I pray that my grandma’s last days are filled with love, family, and good stories.

Four Generations

Me, my dad, little man, and my grandma
November 7, 2012

In case you couldn’t tell, I take after my dad’s side of the family, and little man takes after me.

Christmas reflections


I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Its time to get back to writing again. We had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We opened a few presents early like the recordable book my parents gave little man “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and a very noisy learning farm sit to stand walker from my sister.

Christmas day started with the opening of the stockings. Our pups loved their treats and so did my husband. He got some delicious Walker shortbread cookies and chocolate. We talked to family and I got the turkey in the oven. Then it was more phone time. We were all set up for Skype but we never did it.

Our wonderful dinner consisted of a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and rolls. We were too full to eat the pumpkin pie so it will be enjoyed tonight instead.

Its that time of year – Almond Rocca

Every year I make Almond Rocca. I started making it when I was around 10 years old. My mom taught me how to make it. When I was younger we use to sell it at craft fairs. I have even sold it through a local coffee shop. Each year I make at least 3 batches. In years that I sell it I make at least 10 batches. Almond Rocca is the go to gift for my husband’s coworkers and my in-laws. The recipe is fairly easy and the list of ingredients is small. However, there are very few people who have successfully made it (from the people I know). Nonetheless, I’ll give you the recipe to try out for yourself.


My first batch this year turned out great. I was a little late getting started (my in-laws will get there’s after the new year) due to little mans constant distractions. While it is sol very early to think about, I how that either our next child (still a ways away) is a girl or that my son learns this recipe. I want it to be passed on like it was to me. We have to keep the family tradition of Almond Rocca alive.


If you like my almond rocca, you’ll love my other recipes