Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Our New Arrival

Another little miracle - Thank you Lord!

John Michael Phares
born August 11th, 2015.  8lb 2oz of chub and cuteness.

(Notice I put the YEAR there in the birthdate - that's to avoid any confusion since my blogging schedule seems to correspond with my babies births ;-)

~ one day old at the hospital ~

To make up for lost time, and to tide you over until I post again, I'm going to go ahead and post an abundance of photos of John's first few days...

A very happy mamma - and baby John even looks smiling and happy
                  baby John                                      me, 36 years ago
See any resemblances there?

Grandpa (John Michael), Grandma, and baby John Michael
Helen Sue ~ my other look-alike
Paul Benjamin ~ very happy to have a little brother!
At this moment Susie and Paul were more intrigued by each others funny faces than by John....

our bright eyed Susan
Our five children, 5 years old and under. We are sooooooo blessed!

My wonderful husband Ben ~ who humored me and let me take this photo of him
and of course, a pajama picture ~ Lucy gets the first turn while everyone else
wait for last baby cuddles before bedtime

Due to the excitement and fullness of "normal" life with five young children I have barely taken any photos since these first few days, I'll try to do better for my next bi-annual post ;-)

"O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."
Psalm 136:1

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Welcome Susan Faith

Susan Faith ~ Born March 10th, 2014

7lb 4 oz (my smallest by far!) 19" long

12 hours old - so peaceful

Ben and his three girls
Paul seems to like Susie, but he's not sure how to react when she cries.
Grandma helping with Susie
Helen Sue has been waiting for Susan's arrival
almost as impatiently as I have been!
Lucy is my big helper
(and Helen is not thrilled about giving Lucy a turn to hold Susan)
Me and my sweet baby girl
Baby Susie still mostly keeps those eyes shut during the day and wide open all night.
I'll have to take some night pictures soon to show you her awake ;-)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cathy's Navy Bean Soup

This soup is so hearty and delicious, and it's high in protein, fiber, and all those nutritious vitamins and minerals in the beans. I'm sure it would be great without the ham, if you prefer. It freezes well too.

     2 c. (1lb.) Navy beans or small white beans
     1  ham bone, 2 lbs. ham shanks, or 2 lbs. smoked pork hocks
     12 c. water
     2  1/2c. mashed potatoes
     2 tsp. salt
     ½ tsp. pepper
     1 lg. onion chopped (1c.)
     2  stalks celery (1c.)
     1 clove garlic, finely chopped
     Optional 1-2 carrots, sliced

Crockpot directions:  Heat the water to boiling first, then add it to everything else in the crockpot together and cook all day.

Stovetop directions:  Heat beans and water to boiling. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
Add ham bone.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are tender.
Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
Remove ham bone; let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove ham from bone. Remove excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces. Stir ham into soup.  Sometimes,  to make it creamier,  I use a potato masher to mash some of the beans against the bottom of the pot.

Proverbs 30:18 ~ Through a Mothers Eyes

There are three things that amaze me—
yea, four things that I don’t understand:

The way of the bottles to all disappear at once;
the way one meal can transform an entire face;

the fascination of a toilet full of toys;

 and the way of a very young man with a maid.

All inspiration thanks to my sweet, one year old boyish-boy.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cathy's Autumn Chowder

Recipe post by my mother, Cathy.

This is not a seafood chowder. It's just vegetables: corn, potatoes, carrots and onion, with a bit of bacon for flavor, and a hint of cheddar cheese. It's been one of our favorite soups for four decades. I've made it many times on the spur of the moment, by having a pound of bacon and a pkg. of frozen corn in the freezer, and the staple veggies almost everyone has on hand. Make some homemade bread to go with it, and your family won't won't stop telling you what a great dinner it is. 

"Toasting to Mother"

Autumn Chowder
  • 6 slices bacon, cut up
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp chicken base or bullion
  • 2.5 cups potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  •  (I double the carrots, and add some celery)  
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2.5 cups corn (I use frozen)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  1. Fry bacon in soup pot.
  2. Add onions and brown until bacon is crisp.
  3. Stir in water and bouillon or broth, potatoes and carrots.
  4. Simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15-20 minutes).
  5. Stir in milk, corn, and pepper and heat until simmering.
  6. Mix cheese and flour together.
  7. Add to the soup, stirring constantly until cheese is melted.  One tip: Never let a milk based soup come to a boil, it will ruin the creamy texture.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cozying up for the Cold

My children think it is so exciting to put on coats and hats and go outside in the (literally) freezing cold. Left to myself I might think it was exciting to cuddle up on the couch in front of the fireplace in the warm house, but they get me out so I get them bundled. I do love the look of warm winter coats :-)

I actually got a photo with all three children smiling!
It took clicking away about twenty times but - Yay!

A very sweet (and warm) pass-me-down "cozy coat" for Lucy
from a good friend (thank you Kathleen!)

Helen now get's Lucy's pass-me down "Lizzy Coat" - named thus
because cousin Lizzy gave it to us and has a matching one.
(What, doesn't everyone name their coats?)

Lucy definitely has a certain "mom is taking too many pictures" expression.
Hmmm. Her daddy gets that expression as soon as he sees the camera
pointing anywhere near his vicinity.