Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring in Vienna...

Friday, March 16, 2012

March Madness...

March always seem to be really full of fun things...

:: Here is Abby with a few of her friends at the "International Family Fun Night" at their school.  Each classroom represented a different country~ where native food could be eaten, traditional clothing could be seen and kids got "passports" that they could get stamps in.  There were also some cultural performances.  It was a really great night!

:: This week has been Spirit Week, and the kids have had a fun time dressing up each day.  For Abby, today was "book character" day
She chose Violet, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!  She begged to be taken by car this morning instead of by public :)

And for Luke it was "blue and gold" day (school colors)
It was probably a bit over the top, covering his bike helmet with gold paper and gluing a trophy on top...but I love that he has really gotten into dressing up, and is not too cool for it :)

:: And last night we celebrated Brad and Abby's birthdays with our team

Happy Birthday Brad and Abby!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Poor Mo...

Luke noticed a few days ago that Mo didn't seem quite like herself.  She wasn't climbing like normal or eating very well.  Then it became difficult for her to walk.  The store owner where we got Mo recommended a vet specializing in reptiles. (This vet is even giving a lecture on chameleons this Friday in Vienna, so she knows her stuff.)

After a blood test and an x-ray, it was determined that she has at least 17 eggs inside her little belly, causing the calcium from what she eats to go to her eggs rather than her bones.  This is causing metabolic bone disease. She also is having trouble with her kidneys.  Right now we are giving her calcium supplements and medicine for her kidneys to function better, but the vet seems to think her chances of surviving are pretty slim.

This is very hard for Luke, who hates to see a fly suffer- let alone a pet that he has saved money for and hand feeds on a daily basis.  It is amazing how attached to Mo we all have gotten. :) Luke has always had a compassionate heart, and he asked me to write this blog post so folks would pray.  So...for the sake of our Luke, would you lift up a prayer for Mo?

Vanilla Scones + Strawberries= Yumminess!

Every recipe I have ever tried from Pioneer Woman is delicious, and her "Petite Vanilla Bean Scones" are no exception.

We are invited to a friend's house for dinner tonight and I wanted to bring a "fresh" dessert.  I also found a big batch of ripe strawberries at the store yesterday, so I thought I would just switch up her recipe a tiny bit...

*make the scones circle shaped instead of triangles
*cut up some strawberries to put on top
*and then drizzle with the vanilla glaze!

Pure yumminess!  We sampled some last night, and it is like a scone-ish version of strawberry shortcake :)

Here is her recipe::


  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ⅔ cups Sugar
  • 5 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 Pound) UNSALTED Butter, Chilled
  • 1 whole Large Egg
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream (more If Needed)
  • 2 whole Vanilla Beans
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 1 whole Vanilla Bean
  • Dash Of Salt

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape out all the vanilla “caviar” inside. Stir caviar into cream. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Sift together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut cold butter into pats, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. Keep going until mixture resembles crumbs.
Mix vanilla cream with egg, then combine with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork just until it comes together.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle. (Mixture will be pretty crumbly.) Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick. Use your hands to help with the forming if necessary.
Use a knife to trim into a symmetrical rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 12 symmetrical squares/rectangles. Next, cut each square/rectangle in half diagonally, to form two triangles.
Transfer to a parchment or baking mat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes, removing from the oven just before they start to turn golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. *(if making small circles- only bake for about 10 minutes)*


To make the icing, split one vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the caviar. Stir caviar into milk; allow to sit for awhile. Mix powdered sugar with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency the right thickness. Stir or whisk until completely smooth.
One at a time, carefully dunk each cooled scone in the glaze, turning it over if necessary. Transfer to parchment paper or the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. Scones will keep several days if glazed.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Recent Days and Recipes...

:: On Saturday, I hosted a baby shower for our dear friend, Tabea.  She is due in just a few weeks and we all can't wait to see this sweet little one!  It was a lovely afternoon of fun!

:: Tabea's mother-in-law made the cakes...they were pretty incredible and tasted yummy too!

:: I certainly do not have the cake making skills that Renata has, but I too like making cakes that taste good...

I have made this Cinnamon Roll Cake, two times in the past two weeks (for different events). Yep, it is that good!  I got the recipe from HERE...

:: Another new recipe I recently tried, was for Gnocchi.  For some reason I had never tried Gnocchi- but it was delicious!  Jen passed this recipe on to me and you can find it HERE... Bacon, cream and parmesan cheese!  What is not to like!
 *I used store bought Gnocchi- but made the sauce, and sorry, I forgot to take a picture :(

:: One day I want to make a cookbook of all of my family's favorite recipes...sort of like this. So cool right?

I don't know when I will ever find the time to do it, but I am gong to try to post more recipes on the blog, with pictures ready-set-go, so hopefully one day that will make the process of a cookbook easier.

:: On a random note...I love how Milka always finds the spot of sunshine to lay in :)

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Before, During and After...

He had been saving his money for almost a year... and yesterday we finally took a trip to Toys R Us
(love his smile and how he is almost hugging the box!)

He spent several hours reading the directions carefully, putting it together piece by piece,
until finally it was complete...

Friday, March 02, 2012

Glimpses of Spring...

(taken last weekend on my i-phone)

Today was gorgeous!  I opened my windows and gave our apartment a good cleaning. Next week I think I will do some deep Spring cleaning... HERE and HERE are some good references for how to purge!

Tomorrow I am hosting a baby shower for a dear friend, so it gives me an excuse to have flowers all over the house :) I am also making a yummy pasta salad with chicken, celery, onions, craisins and poppy seed dressing.

Just the simple change in weather is making me love all things that feel "remote-ly springlike"...
like flowers, my newly painted blue door

and a bird picture painted by Abby-girl!  So cute and Springy.

Also, today is our niece's 16th Birthday!  Watch out Florida drivers :)

(Here she is at Christmas re-enacting a "Home Alone" scene with Levi)
Happy Birthday Elisabeth!