"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 2 with the Munchkins

Yesterday was Jack’s Thanksgiving program and lunch at his school.  He was a turkey…pretty appropriate, I’d say! :)

Turkey Jack

He was so happy to see Luke and me and gave us both lots of hugs and dimpled smiles!

Jack Luke OUS

We spent a lot of time in the car yesterday.  Took Maddy and Noah to school…Jack to school…back home…Luke’s nap…back to Jack’s school for Thanksgiving…picked up big kids from school and then back to Jack’s school to pick him up!  Whew!  Bible class last night and finally home for the night!

When Noah and Maddy got in the car after school, Noah told us that he had a part in the Christmas program and proceeded to rummage through his backpack to find the information.  After reading about his part, he announces excitedly, “I’m a Martian!”  Well, duh!!!  No news there! :)

But it was Lukey-Pants…yes, the angelic littlest Smalling…who took the cake yesterday.  He pulled all the freshly-cut pizza slices down to the floor!  I was standing right there but he’s fast!  (Noah and Jack literally cried like babies…even though Dani salvaged it and we all ate pizza for dinner!

After dinner, Luke followed me to the bathroom as I *brushed my teeth tried to do something with my hair before church.  He didn’t stay in there long before he ran out.  I reached down to get my glasses and found they were gone!  Uh oh!  “Luuuuke…do you have Dani’s glasses?!”  Yep…thank goodness they were in his chubby little hands but not broken or bent!

*Thought for the Day: “Is is actually possible for mothers (or Danies) to find the time to be both hygienic AND punctual at the same time?”  Hmmm…

Maddy continues to be my great helper!  She is growing up so much and I love who I see her becoming as a “young lady”. 

Luke’s asleep, Jack is playing “Mousetrap” and explaining every step in detail as he goes, I’m going to rest with my eyes closed for a few minutes before it’s time to get the boys and myself ready to go to Noah’s school for *his* Thanksgiving lunch!

…a blessed Dani

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One down, two to go…

I just single-handedly put 4 kids to bed and they are all asleep!  Woo-hoo! 

Let me just say that I now have more respect for my daughter, Melanie, than ever and am pretty much in awe of her superpowers as a mommy of 4 very active kiddos!

I’m keeping them while she’s basking in the sun in Florida…well, she’s in Florida…more like holed up in her room reading or sleeping or watching t.v. while Jared is in classes.

I. Am. Tired.

But we had a great day!  The hardest part of doing it alone is getting everyone ready for bed.  But…wow…once they were down, I did not hear one peep from anyone…I guess they were tired, too!

This one…

Luke from the Side

is just really starting to talk and gets his “magic” words mixed up.  Like today I was handing him french fries in his car seat (don’t judge!) while waiting in line to pick up the 2 big kids from school.  When he wanted one, instead of saying, “Please”…he would say, “Sorry”.  Cute!

We decided to have chocolate chip pancakes and bacon/sausage (bacon and sausage provided by leftovers from the Lads to Leaders breakfast last weekend…again…don’t judge!)  Noah wanted to do the “liquids” (milk and eggs).  He kept telling me he was going to break the eggs and how much he liked breaking the eggs, etc.  Then he immediately got distracted…and then said, “I know what you’re thinking, Dani.  ‘Those eggs aren’t going to break themselves!’”  Funny boy!

Now, Melanie, when you read this, don’t be sad…you know how Jack is.  He usually only misses you when I’ve told him “no” or made him mad about something.  I don’t know what it was I did or said, but tonight he came over and sat with me in the chair in the L.R. and said, “I don’t even remember what she looks like”.  I asked, “Who?”  He said, sadly, “Mommy!” 

Oh. My. Goodness!  You’ve been gone less than a day and he can’t remember what you look like?  HI-larious!  He got over it pretty quickly though.

Oh, here are the two younger boys wrestling and playing around:



Maddy didn’t say anything particularly cute…she just IS cute!

Pretty Maddy

So goodnight all…maybe I’ll blog tomorrow night too…if I’m not too tired.  I may get Poppi to come over and help me get everyone off to church! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Grandkids!

Well, this blog IS called “My Grandkids’ Dani” and here I’ve been posting all about quilting and sewing and fabric giveaways…

So, here are some pictures of my real treasures.

Maddy is “Trixie, the Halloween Fairy”; Noah is “Wolverine”; Jack is “Spiderman” and Luke is “Incredible Hulk”.  By the way, Noah wasn’t mad.  He says “that’s the way Wolverine looks!”  Aren’t they precious!?

Halloween Smallings

I don’t have a picture of Georgia in her full costume, but here she is in her little peasant dress (precious!) and witch’s hat.   Well, you can’t really see the hat, but…isn’t she cute?!  And here she is eating leaves in our backyard!

Georgia Peasant Dress

Georgia Eating Leaves Closeup

Here’s some of Jack’s 5th birthday!  This one is Jack with friend on the Hayride!

Hayride Jack closeup

Jack painting a pumpkin

Jack Painting Pumpkin Closeup

Luke looks confused

Luke confused face

Jared driving the tractor for the hayride.

Jared Tractor Closeup

Another hayride picture…Maddy top left and Noah in costume.


Uncle Pip (Philip) and Aunt Sarah – trying to hide from the camera.

Pip Sarah Hands on Face

Two cute boys (Luke and Jack) eating at the little table during a family Sunday lunch.

Luke-Jack at little table

This week keeping Georgia…

Georgia in Mirror   DSC03404

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Giveaway on Hawthorne Threads.com!

1st Prize:



This kit includes a pattern with instructions, fabrics, muslin, cording, color coordinated thread and zipper - all necessary materials except interfacing!
What a great splurge for yourself, or gift for the sewist in your life!

2nd & 3rd Prizes:

One Fat Quarter set of GIRLY GIRL Fabrics each! (sweet colorway)

"Girly Girl blends flirty flower designs with geometric lines creating a charming look. These playful and bubbly prints will inspire you to create beautiful designs for your sweet girl."

To register for their giveaway, simply click on their site HERE.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fabric Giveaway!

Lately I've been doing a lot of reading online about "virtual quilting bees" and "block swaps". I've actually joined a block swap recently that will begin soon.

Block Party is having a quilt along and they are kicking it off by a fabric giveaway! Visit their website and you might win.

Dinner in 30 Minutes…more or less

"Recipe Swap" from Park City Girl

I don’t have kids at home anymore and have more time to spend in the kitchen, but sometimes I still want to get in and out quickly!

Here are 3 of my *go-to* recipes for quick stove-to-stomach suppers:

Black Beans & Rice (vegetarian)

**I usually double this recipe**

1 tbls. vegetable oil

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1 med. Onion, chopped

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 small green pepper, chopped

¼ tsp. dried thyme

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 ¾ cups cooked & drained black beans (canned is fine)

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup uncooked long-grain rice

Heat vegetable oil. Add onion and pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic, beans, rice, broth, red pepper flakes, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Sprinkle with cheese.

Jeanne's Version of Martha Stewart’s Spaghetti 101

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (use a good brand)
  • 8 ounces thin spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut into 1/8-inch-thick pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or parsley leaves, loosely packed and torn -- *or* about 1 Tbls. dried basil
  • Parmesan cheese

Put water on to boil for spaghetti. Put olive oil in skillet, heat on medium and add garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir them into the oil for just a minute. Do not burn the garlic! Add tomatoes, 1/4 tsp. salt (optional) and basil (if using dried).

When spaghetti water is boiling, add 2 Tbls. salt, then add spaghetti. Cook according to package directions.

Sauce will cook down while spaghetti is cooking. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, then add the basil, if you’re using fresh. Cook another minute and top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

“Tastes Like Fried” Tilapia (or any other fish fillets you like)

4 boneless Tilapia fillets

2 Tbls. olive oil

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

I love to buy the frozen Tilapia in individually-wrapped fillets. I take out the fillets about 15 minutes before I need them, place them in a big bowl of cold tap water and they thaw quickly!

Heat (on medium) 2 Tbls. olive oil in non-stick skillet. Pat Tilapia dry with paper towels.

Mix cornmeal, salt, pepper, cumin and ground red pepper together on small plate. Dredge fillets in this mixture, covering both sides. Shake off extra.

Lay the fillets into the hot oil, cover (if the fillets are thick) and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and do the same with the other side.