Picture this...

P.S. The cheese is me.


Two cuties.

While Kristen and I were planning the birthday party for the boys, we decided we wanted to add a cute picture of them together to the invitations so we took them outside for a photoshoot. They were not cooperating. They were all over the place getting distracted by people and squirrels running around. Here is a taste of Alex's large variety of ridiculous facial expressions. Canon was so cooperative; Alex stuck his bum in Canon's face. This is why they are friends. I meant to only post a few pictures but they were so cute and I couldn't stop myself.


Spur of the moment.

Rachel is amazing at getting people together to do things at the last minute! Two separate times now we have put our kids to bed and then gone out to chat! The first time was an interesting experience. The cashier took about thirty minutes to get our order because he was too busy flirting with Rachel. He asked us if we were going to go out partying later that night and I told him we would be going back to our kids. He couldn't believe we had kids. Luckily, the next time we went back, he wasn't working and it was a much better experience. We are trying to get more girls from our ward to come with us but, for some odd reason, people are busy at 9pm. It's strange.

I know that I could not look any trashier than that second visit to Panera. I am not sure what possessed me to wear that outfit but it will not be happening again.



Alex and I went and picked apples with Kristen (and Canon) and Lindsey (and Graham). The boys all enjoyed eating an apple and surprised us with their skills to eat a whole apple! We went to pick a certain kind of apple and we ended up getting confused and picking apples that weren't ready yet. It turns out, the accidentally-picked apples were more delicious than the ones we meant to pick! I am excited to go back and get some more, and also learn the name of them!


Labor Day

Our ward had a corn roast on Labor Day. Luckily Cornell got with the program this year and so Sam didn't have school. It was so nice to be able to enjoy the whole day together. Alex got to spend a lot of time in swings and then Sam decided to let him experience a slide "on his own." Alex was so terrified but then he would start laughing. It was like he couldn't decide if he liked it or not. The picture at the bottom is from last Labor Day and this Labor Day. I cannot believe how much Alex has grown in the last year. He definitely seems to enjoy swings more now!


The first BYU game.

The Bechthold's invited us over to watch the first BYU football game of the season. It was so nice to be able to relax after the hectic birthday party planning. I am not sure how much of the game people watched but it was fun to get to know new people and have such a hospitable host. I hope to be a host like Julie one day. I had never been to her apartment before but she welcomed us right in and made us feel so comfortable. By the end of the night I felt like we were with old friends!


The party continues.

Over the summer, my friend (Kristen, mother of Canon) and I started talking about having a joint birthday party for our little boys. Canon was born 13 days after Alex and they have been best friends since they first met.

The weather was strange the day of the party and so we weren't sure if we should set up inside or outside. We finally decided to set up outside. We made it through the first hour of the party outside and then it started pouring rain and everyone grabbed things and ran inside. At the beginning of the party, Alex was playing on some concrete stairs and fell down a few of them. The bump on his forehead immediately became huge but it didn't get much worse than that.

If you think this party looks cute, I give all of the credit to Kristen. She is the creative genius. I just did what she told me to do. A lot of friends from our ward and Sam's program came to the party and it was very fun to visit with people and celebrate our little boys.



The Cutest Son Ever Award goes to...

Alex. Duh.

I am about to show you the cutest passport photo of all time. I hope this bodes well for Alex's school photos. I am such a proud mom! Look at that hair! Look at those teeth! Looked at that drugged look! I just want to kiss him! Speaking of kissing, Alex gives open mouth kisses. I am not sure where he learned it because I definitely don't give him open mouth kisses. But when I say, "Kisses," he opens up his mouth as wide as possible and tries to eat me. It is very cute.


The Help

I do not usually write about books on our blog. This is because I feel like the popularity of books if fleeting, and I want this blog/record to be more timeless to me. I am going to make an exception and that is because I feel like this book is an exception. When I finish a book, I like to think about it for a few days so I can really figure out  how I feel before I start talking to people about it. But I knew from the first chapter of The Help that I loved it.

I have been ignoring Alex for the last two days while I sit on the couch and let him entertain himself. I could not set down the book. I read it as I was making lunch or feeding Alex. I read it while sitting on a blanket outside and only occasionally looked up to make sure Alex wasn't in the middle of the road. I read it every opportunity I could find. I even stayed in my pajamas all day today.

It is a beautiful and moving novel. It had me laughing and crying and reading portions to Sam. Then he would look at me like I am crazy because the portion was out of context and how could it be funny that someone has a corn cob up their butt? I have found myself talking like the writing, which doesn't make me sound very smart since it is 1960s Southern Drawl. I love how the book was written.

I started this book knowing nothing about it and borrowed it from a friend because it is our book club's book this month. It has since been added to my list of top three favorite books (along with The Hiding Place and The Book Thief). The other two books are favorites because I still think about them; I think that is what makes a book good. Life (and death) reminds me of these books and they have changed the way I look at the world. I can already see that The Help is one of those books. So read it. You don't even have to love it, but it is a must-read.


Tuesday Thyme: Egg Rolls

These were a little time consuming but so fun to make because I had never made egg rolls before! My only regret is that I didn't split it up and fry them as we wanted to eat them . This is because they get so soggy. They were not good leftover at all. So if you make them, just save the stuffing and fry them as you want to eat them. I served them with sweet & sour sauce and mustard sauce (recipe below). Sam liked the mustard sauce (that's why I am including the recipe) but I didn't think it was as good as the sweet and sour sauce, which we just bought at the grocery store. Look at that cute, little egg roll! It looks just like a present for my belly!
Egg Rolls
Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com
Serves: 6-8 people

2 T. vegetable oil
1.25 lbs. ground pork
Salt, black pepper
1/2 c. minced yellow onions
1 1/2 T. chopped garlic
1 t. ground ginger
1 pound bok choy, shredded
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. sugar
3/4 pound fresh bean sprouts, washed and patted dry
1/4 cup green onions, green part only, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
20 (6-inch) egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten
Oil for frying
Sweet and Sour Sauce, for dipping
Mustard sauce, for dipping (see below)

1. In a wok, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork. Season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for 3 minutes.
2. Add the onions and garlic, continue to cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the cabbage and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for 1 minute.
4. Season with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar.
5. Add the sprouts and green onions and mix thoroughly.
6. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
7. Preheat the fryer.
8. To assemble, spoon a little more than 1/4 cup of the filling in a rectangular shape on the center of each wrapper. Fold in the end toward the center about 1/4-inch. Then, beginning at the bottom, roll up the wrapper, like a jelly roll, using a little of the egg wash to seal the end tightly. Repeat until all of the egg rolls are done.
9. Fry the egg rolls in batches until golden brown, stirring occasionally for overall browning, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
10. Serve warm with sweet & sour sauce and mustard sauce.

Mustard Sauce
Recipe adapted from cooks.com

1/2 T. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. dry mustard
1 egg yolk
1/2 pint cream
1/2 c. vinegar

1. Stir together flour, sugar, and mustard. Add egg yolk and beat. Beat in cream.
2. Using a double boiler, heat vinegar until steaming but do not boil.
3. Combine all ingredients together in the pan but do not allow to boil.
4. Simmer for about 15 minutes over lowest heat or until thickened, stirring occasionally.


At the park with friends.

Our friends, the Johnsons, who we went with to Niagara Falls last year have since moved to New York City to start real life (he graduated and got a full-time job). They came back to visit for a day but they are so popular and everyone wanted to see them! They had to have a party at the park (8.25.10)! It was fun to see them again. We miss their presence in Ithaca and every time we drive past their old house we look to see if magically they've come back. No such luck yet, but we will keep checking.

Alex was digging through the Harker's fruit bowl. He ate everything that was left. He is such a ridiculously large mooch. He doesn't like the food I try to give him but any food other people have is suddenly the most delicious thing in the world. He acts like we starve him. At least he is a cute mooch.



There were a few activities when we got back to Cornell and I was so excited that families were invited to them!

The first activity was the HCA (Human Capitol Association) Night at The Nines. There was delicious food and it was so fun to see everyone again. Everyone was very excited to see Alex and couldn't believe how big he had gotten. Immediately after we handed him to Becky, Alex rested his head on her shoulder and kept it there for a few minutes! It was so cute! He isn't really a cuddly kid but Becky must be very comforting.

The next activity is where we were going when we got stranded on campus. It was the GSA (Graduate Student Association) Opening Social. Alex was running around like a madman trying to go up the dangerous stairs. We weren't stranded on campus for long, or at all, because we had some awesome friends who were willing to drive us home from the activity when it ended.

We are looking forward to more events during the year. It is really fun for me to get to know Sam's classmates and Alex seems to like all of the attention.


One more thing.

Sam had his final softball game just a few days before the end of his internship. He really wanted to finish out the season with a win but they ended up losing by one run. It was really sad. But we still had fun watching him play!

Most of the interns finished at AP before Sam. A few nights before we moved away, one of the few remaining interns had us over for dinner and to play games. It was fun to see how nerdy the engineering interns are and to meet some of the people Sam had been working with.


Because I got high...

Sam has this strange song on his iPod by Afroman. He sings a bunch of things he was going to do but then says he didn't end up doing them because he got high. That's kind of how I feel about blogging. Except the getting high part; more like I felt like I had better things to do like sit out in the grass and watch Alex run around. I have about twelve update posts I need to do but I will go in chronological order.

So the first thing is to look back on the summer and assess how we did with our goals.

1. Attend the temple - check.
2. Visit Jason - check.
3. Visit Libby - check.
4. Hershey Park - check.
5. Register Sam's car - check.
6. Paint Alex's dresser, crib, and changing table - eeeeehhh, so I painted his dresser and our end table but then the dresser got really messed up in the move back to Ithaca and so I need to give it some touching up.
7. Make a food storage plan - check.
8. Passports - check.
9. Lehigh Valley Zoo - check.
10. Philadelphia Zoo - check.
11. Iron Pigs games - check. We ended up only going to one. Although Sam was offered free tickets to plenty of games, we always had other things going on.
12. Phillies vs. D-Backs game - check.
13. Camping in the Poconos - check.
14. Buy a car (and sell my car) - no check. We decided to wait until next summer to buy a new car and just use one car through the next year. But we weren't able to sell my car. We are still trying.
15. Hill Cumorah Pageant - check.
16. Learn how to use my camera - no check. Not even close. But I'm getting better.
17. Go to Sonic - check.
18. Scrapbook - check.
19. Sew a carseat blanket cover - Nope. I will do this when we have another baby, I guess.
20. Read lots of books - half check. I completed Mockingjay, The Host, 44 Scotland Street, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and Ender's Game. I did not complete Atlas Shrugged, The Jungle, Mere Christianity (currently reading), The Screwtape Letters, These is My Words, Book of a Thousand Days, or Goose Girl.
21. Crayola Factory - We went to the Crayola Store so I am counting this as complete. Check.
22. Berry picking - check.
23. Dorney Park - check.
24. Easton Farmers' Market - check.
25. Allentown Art Museum - Nope. We didn't even try. We are sad we didn't go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art though.
26. Crystal Cave - check.
27. Miniature golf - check.
28. DaVinci Science Center - check.
29. Grille 3501 - We decided it was too fancy and expensive so we didn't go. No check.
30. Muhlenberg College - check.
31. Golfing - no check. Sam is very sad about this.
32. Jim's Steaks - double check.
33. Dry clean bedspread - check.
34. Cut hair - no check. For now.

Blog Archive