Friday, September 14, 2012

Family Photographs from Immaculate Conception Dardenne Parish

Family photographs 2012

Giant ricotta stuffed pasta shells topped with fresh tomato spaghetti sauce.

Giant ricotta cheese stuffed pasta shells baked and smothered with delicious home-made meat spaghetti sauce with spinach and zucchini hidden in it. I froze several portions of the sauce I made from fresh tomatoes from my garden cooked with meat a few weeks ago. It is still my best attempt at my grandmother's spaghetti sauce. Mmm!

I baked the shells at about 350 degrees for about a half hour with my defrosted home-made sauce. I sprinkled it with a little mozzarella cheese some fresh basil and parsley right from the garden.

My family loved it. Sophia who never eats her meal at dinner time ate one whole giant shell and then another half. She likes any kind of spaghetti but absolutely loved this baked pasta dish.  I love that the kids just ate lots of fresh veggies including spinach unknowingly.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sophia's first sewing lesson - 1 week before her 5th birthday

Sophia is learning the parts of the sewing machine and how to thread a needle on my old sewing machine.

She is so excited to try this. Sophia is threading the needle here.  She was a little worried and I assured her that there is nothing she can mess up on this machine that I haven't done in the last eighteen years since I started using it.
1-2-3 sew.

A sample of some lines she sewed on a scrap of fabric.
She is trying more sewing.
She learned the most important skill needed when sewing. She learned what a seam ripper is and how to remove thread when an error is made.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Trinket box made from craft sticks

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Kaylee is a firm believer in exercise

Bicep curls.

Lifting weights.

Lunge squat jumps. Demonstrating mid-air.
Obviously, she is coaching me here.

YouTube Video

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Canning spaghetti sauce made from fresh tomatoes

Nine large mason canning jars of spaghetti sauce made from 12 lbs of tomatoes.

This year I have committed to making sure my family eats healthier. It is my responsibility as a parent to teach my kids to take care of themselves and eat the right kinds of foods that fuel their bodies for proper growth. That means lots of vegetables are being consumed here.

So many parents today are way too busy and don't think twice about nutrition. They just figure "I will feed my kids whatever they will eat" so they can get to the next soccer game, dance practice, or event. Enter McDonald's drive thru, eat junk, done! I am not saying I don't eat fast food once in awhile but let's face it, it should be named "Fat Food.". That is all your body gets out of it, right? There is almost no nutritional value in eating a box of French Fries but we have learned to crave the taste.

Should we as parents encourage that behavior in our already overweight society? No, of course not, most would answer. Why is it then that every two year old out there knows what McDonalds is? Yep, it means food(junk) and of course a toy. Don't get me wrong I am not perfect by any means and sometimes feed my kids "McJunk." I do really try to discourage going there too often which is what brings me to today's blog post and why I planted a large garden this summer.

If you have all these excess vegetables like we had this summer, well you just have to eat them. My girls love picking out vegetables from our garden and selecting which ones we want to make for dinner.

So this weekend one of  my best buddies, Dana and I made marinara spaghetti sauce from pure vegetables right from our gardens and maybe a couple added veggies from the local farmer's market.

It was a long labor intensive day even with all of our modern tools like a food processor, but I believe the nutrients we receive from our vegetable tomato sauce will far outweigh anything you can order from a drive-thru.

We spent our whole day making spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes, fresh spinach, fresh onions, garlic, fresh grown basil, fresh parsley, and all the yummy spices we Italians use to season our sauce. I hope my grandma is proud of me and what I made today. I am also thankful to my friend for teaching me a new skill of canning which may come in useful if I have another fruitful year in gardening. Yummy! "Mangia! Mangia bene!" my grandmother Consolino would say. (Roughly translated it means, "Enjoy your meal!")

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hair bow design with Sophia.

Sophia and I made a few new hair bows this afternoon.

Mommy, I want them in the front so I can see them. Sophia is being silly.

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