Monday, April 26, 2010

Bows and Arrows

Who says you need sons to shoot bows and arrows? Kirk has started the latest craze in our neighborhood. All of the kids love to come over and shoot. The goal is to get the arrows as far into the neighbors yard as possible - and they love it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Banana Split Birthday!

Happy Birthday Paige! We are so glad to have this special day to celebrate YOU. You are tender hearted and have a special ability to develop friendships with those around you - teachers, friends, sisters, cousins, etc. I love your special cheerfulness. Your giggles and smiles light up our house. It is so fun to watch you explore and challenge your abilities. Whether it is climbing trees, swinging from the ropes or skiing down black diamond runs, you have a giggle and a smile on your face as you do challenging things. It is equally fun to see your nose buried in a book as you expand your mind and understanding. Eight is such a great and important age and I'm enjoying watching you step through this milestone. Thanks for being such a great part of our family. I love you!
Birthdays around our house are all about favorite foods. For her birthday dinner, Paige chose gyoza, rice, edamame and frozen fruit salad. And instead of birthday cake, she requested banana splits. It was a fun departure from the norm.

With Paige, birthday month comes to an end. It has been lots of fun celebrating (almost) everyone in our family. I will be glad not to see cake for a while.

Happy Birthday Kirk!

Happy Birthday Kirk! Somehow you managed to sandwich your birthday in the middle of Birthday Month... surrounded by your girls. It's fitting. You are such a great dad and I can't see you anywhere else, but surrounded by your girls. We all love you and appreciate having the balance that you bring to our lives. I love it that you are the favorite parent in many respects. I love to watch you playing soccer, or skiing, or hiking, or whatever you are doing with the girls. They crave to be around you because they know how much you love them. You are talented in so many ways. You can do anything you put your mind to. We are able to do and experience so many things because of your talents. I love all you do for me and our family. Thanks for taking me along for the ride!
For Kirk's birthday we had our first real warm day of the year. It was nice enough that we cooked steak on the grill and ate outside. A birthday gift in itself!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Little House on the Prairie

Yesterday, when we discovered that our hot water wasn't working, Hannah said 'Yeah, we can be just like Little House on the Prairie - well almost'. And we were. The girls had a great time taking a bath with water heated up on the stove. Thank goodness we didn't have to haul our water from the lake. It's amazing what we take for granted. Simple conveniences that we don't usually think twice about make me grateful for modern living. On Monday when we get a repairman to our house, I will be a little more grateful.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yum, Yum, Yum!

I tried a new cake for Kirk's birthday tonight. It was delicious and definitely worth passing along. I am usually a little leery of recipes involving cake mix concoctions. But this one was super moist and very tasty. If you like Chocolate, you'll love this one...
1 package devil's food cake mix
1 package (5.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate.
2 T. butter
2 T. cocoa
2 T. water
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cocoa and water and cook until thickened. Take off heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour immediately over cooled cake.
Nutritional info per serving (12 per cake):
598 calories
38.6 g fat
61 g carbs
2.2 g fiber
7.6 g protein
Good thing I've got a long run tomorrow to burn off at least some of these extra calories!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Happy Birthday Hannah! I can hardly believe you are 10 years old. You have grown and learned so much since you entered our lives back in 2000. You are truly sweet and gentle. You have a large heart and love to share it with those around you - especially children. Izzy particularly loves you because you nurture her and treat her so well. You are talented and have learned how to develop those talents. I always know that you will bring home excellent grades. You work hard and love to learn and complete your work. As the oldest, you are a great example to your sisters. We are so lucky to have you in our family.
Happy Birthday!
Hannah shared her birthday pie (she requested coconut cream pie instead of cake) with her family and some close friends.
Hannah, Kiley, Izzy, Ally, Gabi, Paige

Best friend, Gabi
Tonight we get to celebrate Kirk's birthday. Three down (almost) and one to go! April is a busy month in our house!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Going to Haiti

If you have felt like helping out the people of Haiti but haven’t found the right opportunity yet, here it is… My brother, Mike, is a Pediatrician just finishing up his residency at the Mayo clinic. He and his family are moving to Salt Lake City to start a new job, but before he goes, he is off to give of his skills and talents to the children of Haiti. Please read Mike’s letter below and consider helping…

When I think of all the opportunities I've had and how much I've loved my life to this point, I can't help but feel the need to give back when the opportunity arises. I have the opportunity to spend some time in May helping the children of Haiti recover from the recent earthquake and I'm hoping you'll take a minute to read the explanation below and consider helping out.

As you likely know, the people of Haiti were devastated by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Many buildings collapsed, injuring and burying thousands of residents under rubble. Aftershocks measuring 5.9 and 5.5 have added to this epic disaster. Needless to say, the sadness, poverty and desperation that we witnessed on our television screens have left a strong impression all of us. The Haitians still have a long journey toward the beginning of a long recovery. As much of the world leaves and starts to focus on other stories, we cannot leave the Haitian people behind in despair.

I am joining a multi-disciplinary team of medical doctors and nurses from the Mayo Clinic to go to Haiti on a short-term mission trip in the last week of May (21-29) to help sustain the disaster relief efforts. In concert with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative that is currently running The Disaster Recovery Center, which was established for survivors of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake, we will be performing operations, provide medical care, and deliver and distribute medical supplies.

This medical mission trip cannot happen with out YOUR support! The large amount of very necessary medical care being provided for the Haitian people at this critical time is being provided by medical teams just like this, each of them donating their time out of love for the Haitian people and relying on the generosity of people like you to make their travel to Haiti possible.

We need to raise approximately $20,000 to cover the necessary expenses of the trip. While one-time investments of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500 or more are needed in order to meet this goal as quickly a possible, anything that you can afford to give will add up. All money will be used directly for travel expenses, with any excess going towards the purchase of medical supplies specifically in short supply.

We guarantee that 100 percent of your donation will go toward this cause. All of the partners/donors to our mission trip will receive a DVD slideshow of pictures and videos of how your generous donations made a difference in the lives the Haitian people during our mission trip. For more information, contact me at or Amy Heaney at or 507-273-0316.

This is a team project and we thank you for being a vital part of our team.

We've established a non-profit charitable organization called "Clinicians of the World" to organize groups to respond to the disaster in Haiti, and future disasters as they inevitably arise.

You may donate with a credit/debit card by using the following link: DONATE

Or, send your tax-deductible gift to:

Clinicians of the World/Haiti 909 Nancy Court SW Eyota, MN 55934

Thank you in advance for your consideration. Generosity never goes unnoticed!


For more information about the organizations we'll be supporting while in Haiti, please see the sites for Haitian Christian Mission who operates one of the largest operational hospitals in Haiti:

And the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, who is organizing the best-run and largest field hospital for patients recovering from surgery, just next door to HCM:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Break - days 3 & 4

We decided to do something a little new and different (for us) this spring break. We drove 90 minutes to Kellogg Idaho and spent two days at Silver Mountain. They have a great indoor water park. We picked the right days - there was hardly anyone there and we had much of the place to ourselves. We had a great hotel room - a novelty for our girls. The weather outside was crummy, but inside it was great. There was something for everyone... hot tub, water slides (big ones, little ones and some in between),

Lazy river swimming,

After arriving home and as I was kissing Paige goodnight she asked, 'Are we ever going to Silver Mountain again? I want it to be a family tradition.' Great idea Paige!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Break - day 2

Today we did: Chores Errands Lunch at Joel's and... Cookies If you are in need of a good cookie, this is the one to try. Here is the recipe: They are amazing. Toast the coconut and macadamia nuts - it's worth it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Break - day 1

Spring Break is here! It is so fun to have the kids home for a week. Since we are mostly sticking around home, I've got lots of stuff planned to keep them busy.
Of course it's rainy and blustery outside today! It is spring, right? So today we went swimming at the athletic club and then hit the library. The girls will enjoy some extra reading time this week in between play and activities and maybe even a few chores!

Friday, April 2, 2010


Every year I have high hopes for our Easter Egg Hunt. I dream of blue skies, sunshine, birds singing and grass growing. It must be too much to ask for in N. Idaho 'cause what we typically end up with is rain, or snow, or both. Today was no different. In fact, I think it started raining a little harder once the eggs were hid. But the kids always have a good time - despite the spring weather. We have great neighbors who let us use their large yard as the neighborhood Easter egg hunt headquarters. All of the kids' friends come with empty baskets and leave with plenty of candy.

Who knows? Maybe someday we'll actually have some sunshine and get to have a BBQ with our egg hunt!

Happy Birthday Isabelle

Our little Izzy turned TWO yesterday! The time has flown and she has moved quickly from a sweet little baby to a busy, independent two year old.
She's been obsessed with her birthday for a few weeks now. Every morning she would wake up and ask, 'Birthday?'. Then she would ask about her 'cake?'. 'Yes', I would say, 'we'll have cake after your birthday dinner'. She was thrilled when we all woke her up with a chorus of 'Happy Birthday'. There were smiles and happy giggles all day as she enjoyed all of the extra attention. This was her favorite birthday gift. CAT by Mathew Van Fleet. She is all about cats these days and this delightful book has kept her busy for hours. There are furry tails, moving paws, squeaky toys and all.
We love you Izzy! Happy Birthday!