On Thursday, a friend and I headed up to Spirit Of Clay on SOM Center Road.  I was there for a project a few years ago.


On Thursday, we decided to do a glass project.  We had lots of choices and could pick between plates, trays, and a variety of other pieces.  I chose a small 6 inch square shallow bowl.  I thought it would be good for putting jewelry in at night.  My friend chose to make a tray.


I decided on clear glass since all of the colors show up nicely.  The person at the studio showed me available glass and how to cut it.  I wasn’t a big fan of cutting the glass.  There were plenty of bowls of pre-cut glass already to go.  I decided to go with the rounded discs.  There were lots of colors available.


I decided on this random but not so random pattern.  Once I had the design how I wanted it, I glued each piece in place.  Then, I sprinkled glass confetti (not the technical term) all around.  It will be fired, shaped and get an additional coat of clear glass before it’s finished.


My friend decided to use cut glass.  She added some discs and glass confetti also.


I’ll have to wait 2 weeks until we can see the finished projects.  I’ll share the end result with you then.

It was nice to have an evening out and do something creative.  Hopefully, we’ll plan another outing soon.

 Posted by at 9:11 PM

We met up with our trainer Jen today.  I was still sore from my water aerobics class on Tuesday.  I’ve never been sore from a water class before, but alas we tried new things and I was still feeling it when I arrived for this workout.

I warmed up on a bike for 20 minutes while I caught up with a friend.

Then, Jen had lots of fun in store for us.

2 sets of the following:

  • Partner Kettlebell Swings 15lb 2 x :45sec
  • Twisting Kettlebell Squats 15lb x 20ea. side
  • Stationary Kettlebell Lunges 15lb x 20ea. side
  • Windmills 8lb x 15ea. side
  • Kettlebell Push Press 12lb x :40sec ea. side
  • Single Arm Kettlebell Swings 12lb x :40sec ea. side

I really like the variety that Kettlebells add to my workout.  I also am always sore the next day.

1 set of the following:

  • Partner Medball Toss 12lb x 1:00min.
  • 1/4 Turkish Getup 8lb x 10ea. side
  • Supermans (both and single) x :30sec. each
  • Opposite Arm/Leg Lifts 20ea. side
  • L-Crunch 6lb x 30ea. side
  • Ball Hamstring Raises x 15
  • Ball Hamstring Hold x :30sec.
  • Glute Raises w/ both x 20
  • Glute Raises – single x 20ea. side
  • Good Mornings 18lb x 20
  • DB Side Bends 20lb x 25ea. side

We did a lot more floor exercises today than normal.  My neck muscles are sore from one of them.  Other than that, I’m feeling pretty good so far.  But, I reserve the right to change my mind about it tomorrow when I wake up.

I’m hoping to do some spinning in the morning.  That should help loosen up anything that needs it.

 Posted by at 9:00 PM

Nick is a couple of months past turning 4.  He doesn’t want to take a nap anymore.  He still needs a nap most days, but after “trying” for 3 or 4 minutes, he usually makes his way downstairs.  I’m trying to encourage him to at least play quietly for a bit, but that’s hit or miss.

Today, I was doing some computer work when we came down.  He started playing with misc. craft items in the office.  First, he made a present for Sally.  It included wrapping it in a tissue and using lots of tape.

Next, he decided to make flowers.  He used some straws that I had picked up on a 90% Halloween clearance table.  He carefully folded the flexible part to make a bouquet and taped it together.  Once he had the bouquet all together, he came in with a couple of vases from the kitchen.

The next thing I knew, he was watering them in the bathroom sink  – with REAL water.

Now, they are sitting on our kitchen table.  They are awesome, especially if you are having allergy issues.


I love his creativity and imagination.  He’s turning into quite the little engineer.

 Posted by at 9:04 PM

On Saturday, Stephen and I headed out to Orwell, Ohio for a cheese making class at Mayfield Road Creamery.   This is one of the farms that our Fresh Fork CSA buys from.  All of the class was made up of Fresh Fork customers.  When we arrived, we left our dirty shoes outside and put on “clean shoes” for the creamery.  Susan was by the 180 gallon tank talking about the first cheese making steps. We spent the day making Havarti cheese.


Here, she’s checking the Ph level.  In the next photo, she’s testing for coagulation.


The covered tank needs to rest before the curd is ready to be cut.  I really liked the cheese cold room.


Soon, it was time for lunch.  We enjoyed sampling all of the cheeses that the creamery offers.  I was surprised that I liked the chipotle.  It wasn’t as spicy as I suspected.  I think my favorite was the blue cheese (although it’s being discontinued).  I also really like the Havarti cheese.  I was glad we got it in our Fresh Fork CSA bag last week.  Kevin is checking the cheese to see if it’s ready to be cut.


It was really fun to watch both Susan and Kevin work together.  The Morris Family farm was established in 1860 and is alive and well with a small number of cows (about 40), due to the creamery business.


Draining and washing whey.


Once the cheese curd was ready, we dug in and filled molds.


Then we moved them to the pressing table.  After 15 minutes, it was time to flip.


It’s harder than it looks, but we didn’t drop any.  The cheese gets flipped a few times before going to the final steps.  Our class ended with the cheese in the pressing stage.


After the formal class ended, we were given a tub of ricotta cheese and had the opportunity to buy some cheese.  I had came with a cooler and knew I wanted to go home with cheese.

Before we left, Kevin showed us around the dairy farm.  We met a few cows, checked out the milking barn and milk room.  About 60% of their milk goes into cheese.  The rest is sold to Dairymens.


It was really fun to see the cheese making process and participate in the class.  I have a much better appreciation for the skill and art involved in cheese making.

We made farmer’s cheese with the kids last summer.  I think we’ll try a few more this year just for fun.  I’ll leave the larger scale cheese making to Susan.


Last week, I decided to re-join the Cleveland Zoo.  As a result of a Groupon, we were members of the Akron Zoo last year and had one day at the Cleveland Zoo for $5.  Since Stephen likes the zoo and we have several friends who are members, I thought we should join.  I have a good time at the zoo too, but it’s not usually my favorite.  I do have plans to go to Earth Day festivities next week and the membership will come in handy for that.  The zoos are mostly only 50% reciprocal now, but that will still be a nice discount if we make it to the Pittsburgh zoo and/or aquarium this summer.

We decided to make use of the great weather on Friday and headed to the zoo.  We ended up meeting a mom friend from the J and her daughter.  It’s always fun to do things together!

Our timing was perfect.  We left our houses at the same time and parked just 3 spaces from each other.  We also arrived just before the zoo opened and were able to park in a close lot.


We made our mandatory stop at the elephants.


After a quick trip by the flamingos, we were able to catch the tram up the hill to the primates.  It turns out there is also a playground.  I think the kids enjoyed it the most.  We also spent more time there than any other stop.

Nick was able to climb up the outside of this wall.  He also enjoyed sliding down the pole.


Sally was quick to try out the biggest slide and found herself flying down.  The first couple of time she ended up in the mulch.  Inside the primate building, there was a friendly volunteer showing NIck and Sally some touchable exhibits.


We ate a picnic lunch near the lions which too us to our time to head out.  Sally really enjoyed pushing her friend’s stroller.  Of course by now the zoo was packed and it wasn’t really easy to navigate the trip back to the car, but we made it.


We had a great time and got to know our J friends a bit better.  We’ll surely be going back to the zoo again soon.

 Posted by at 9:08 PM

The kids and I ran an errand after church today.  On the way home, we were in an accident.  I was going north on a major road in our area.  I was making a left onto a side street.  A guy was coming out the side street and turning left (north) onto the main road.  He had a stop sign and I am pretty sure he stopped, but never saw us turning.

I wasn’t going fast since I had just stopped to wait for traffic to finish coming southbound.

I stopped the car, made sure the kids were ok, got them out of the car and called the police.  Sally was crying and very upset.  She wasn’t hurt, but was scared.  The car door hit is where she sits.  The guy came over and apologized and asked if I had called the police.  That was my only contact with them.  The police officer was very nice and a guy who saw the accident stopped back to talk to the police.  There wasn’t any question of fault as I clearly had the right of way.  We didn’t have to wait too long for the police to arrive.  Soon after they arrived, Stephen came to help out.

Here’s a view of the car.  It’s can be driven, but the door doesn’t close completely enough to lock.  I definitely don’t feel like driving it as is with the kids inside.  We also need to buy new car seats for this car.


Here’s another view of the car.  After the police got information from me,   Stephen took Nick and Sally home.  We were only 2 blocks from our house.  I walk past this intersection almost everyday.  Turns out the guy lives a few doors down from us.  I’m glad we didn’t know him.


Of course the other car only had minimal scrapes.


After I got home, we all took pain reliever.  Since I was already stiff, I wanted to help the kids from getting sore while they napped.  I called the insurance company and gave them all of the information they needed and an adjuster will call us tomorrow.

I’m sad that we have to be inconvenienced while this car gets fixed. But…..

I’m glad that no one was hurt.

I’m glad that the kids understand the importance of car seats and seal belts.

I’m glad the car wasn’t totaled.

I’m glad that we were close to home and that Stephen was home to help us out.

I’m glad for so many offers from friends to help us out if needed.

I have so much to be thankful for and days like this make me really appreciate it.

 Posted by at 9:25 PM

Yesterday was the first day since I started my blog that I didn’t have a post.  It felt a little odd, but it was well worth it.  I was on a date with my husband and I didn’t get home until after midnight.  I could have blogged earlier in the day, but I was busy with dishes and laundry so I could thoroughly enjoy the evening.  I’ll tell you more about our date soon, but meanwhile, I’m still stiff from my workout Thursday.

For the first time since my partner and crime and I started training with Jen, we did 4 sets of 2 activities.  I have never done 4 sets of anything!

This resulted in 200 kettlebell swings.  I’m still stiff and sore, but I feel strong!

4 sets of the following:

  • Sled Leg Press 5 sets of 10
  • Kettlebell Swing 15lbx 50

2 sets of the following:

  • Landmine Push Press 45lbbar x 12 eacharm
  • DB Single Arm Row 20lbx 15each
  • Cable Deadlift50lbx 25
  • Bench Squats x 40
  • Scull Crushers + Chest Press 15lbbar x 15each
  • Lat. Pulldown(2 grips) 40lbx 20each
  • Med. Ball Reverse Crunch 6/4 lb x 20
  • Straight Arm Plank 1 minute
  • Bicycles :30secon/:15secoff/:30secon

Jen mixed it up once again and definitely didn’t disappoint.

I wonder what next week will bring.

 Posted by at 8:54 PM

It’s April already and we’re nearing the end of our winter CSA.  In just a few short weeks, we’ll be talking about week 1 for the summer CSA season.  It will be interesting to see how the early warm weather impacts the crops.  Last year, we heard so much about the wet spring and how it negatively impacted the start of the CSA season.  But, let’s enjoy the rest of the winter CSA first.  This was definitely the week of meat!

Here’s what we were expecting today:

  • 1 meat choice (see above)
    • option 1: whole chicken, approximately 5 lbs.
    • option 2: Meatloaf pack, 1 lb. each of ground veal, ground pork, and ground lamb
    • option 3: 2 packs bone-in beef short ribs and one grass-fed beef round steak
    • option 4: 1 pack (4 patties, 1 lb.) turkey burgers (new) and 1 pack (1.25 lbs.) chicken bratwurst
  • 1 lb. breakfast patties
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 piece (8 oz.) Havarti cheese
  • 1 pint maple syrup
  • 1 quarter peck apples
  • 1/4 lb. ramps

(earlier in the week, there was a possibility of greens, but I’ll take apples over greens most days)

Here’s a group shot:


We decided to go with the meatloaf pack. I haven’t made meatloaf in a while and there’s a recipe for meatloaf that uses the ramps in this week’s newsletter. It’s more of a guide to meatloaf than a recipe, but I’m not a big recipe follower anyway, so I am happy to use the ideas and make my own meatloaf. I’m going to make muffin shaped loaves. I like using muffing tins for individual meatloaves.


We had the breakfast patties before. They are flavorful, but a little on the salty side. We’ll probably pair them with some homemade sauce and pasta for a meal. We don’t usually cook meat to go with breakfast.

We bought a gallon of maple syrup this year. Having another pint is always welcome. We made several recipes on a regular basis that use maple syrup instead of sugar. Lucky for me, whole grain pancake mix was on sale this week so I stocked up. My kids love to have pancakes with blueberries and real maple syrup. We don’t even use the fake stuff in our house anymore.


We haven’t had apples in a while, so they will be a nice addition for our morning oatmeal. We are nearing the end of our canned peaches and frozen blueberries.  Everyone in our house loves cheese. I’m sure the Havarti will be popular. Stephen and I are signed up for the cheese class on Saturday, so I suspect we will be stocking up on local cheeses this weekend.


Eggs are never hard to get used up. We just naturally use them often in baked oatmeal, pancakes, French toast, muffins and other recipes. This week a few will go into meatloaf for sure.


Finally, I picked up 4 yogurts this week.  We seem to use at least 2 a week at our house.  It’s $20 well spent.


I’m having a Fresh Fork CSA week for sure.  Yesterday was the monthly happy hour.  Today was our pick up.  Saturday is the cheese class.  I love local!


Stephen was home for work on Friday.  His company has a spring holiday which happens to fall on Good Friday.  I took the opportunity to get a hair cut and run some errands with Nick.  It’s super nice to spend time one on one with the kids.  Since I am a stay at home mom, I don’t get the opportunity very often.  Saturday, I was able to spend some time with Sally.  She got a bang trim and then ran a couple of errands with me.  It’s hard to believe that I used to think one kid was hard.  Compared to having two with me, one is easy-peasy!

One of my favorite parts of Saturday was a visit from my sister and niece.  They had a baby shower to go to and I had the gift.  Since they needed to pick up the gift, we got to spend some time together.  My sister is like me.  She likes to pack way too much into each day.  So, Stephen, she and I divided up the to-do list and off we went.

I had the most fun job.  My niece wanted her hair cut.  I can’t remember ever having one on one time with just my niece.  It was super nice.  When we arrived at the plaza for her haircut, I asked her if she still held hands in the parking lot.  She said no.  Then, I asked her if she would hold my hand just because it would be fun for me.  She said sure.

He mom said she could do whatever she wanted with her hair, as long as it wasn’t a boy cut.

Here hair is naturally curly.  So, getting it straightened was on her to do list.  Here’s a before and in process shot.


Once it was cut to the desired length, Jessica started straightening it.  It took a while to get it all done.


Check out the after photo!  She looks about 4 years older to me.


Later, we caught up with her mom.  I asked her if she liked the hair do.  She said It was the first time I saw her with that extra “I just got a haircut that’s so awesome I can’t forget how good I look ” bounce in her step.  I couldn’t agree more.  I’m going to be spending a couple of weeks at my sister’s this summer.  I think my niece and I will try to sneak out for another hair cut or Starbucks or both.  I’m also going to try and figure out something to do with my nephew.

If was so nice to have some one on one time.  I need to remember how important that is for all of my close relationships.

 Posted by at 7:00 PM

Our final stop on Easter was also down in Akron.  One of my best friend’s from high school was in town with his family from Italy.  His mom hosted an egg hunt.  Since we don’t get to see them often, we headed there around 5:30PM.

Sally and A are only 5 months apart, so they had a great time together.


While we waited for the egg hunt and grabbed a bite to eat, Nick and Sally enjoyed some yard vehicles.


Soon, it was time for Nick and Sally’s 3rd egg hunt in 2 days.


This was definitely the biggest of the three.  I think there were only 5 kids hunting.  Each of them filled their baskets and need to dump their eggs in a bag in order to continue.


There were eggs everywhere.  This house had an awesome yard for a hunt.


It was the first hunt we attended where the kids got tired of hunting before all of the eggs we found.  After they came inside, some of the adults found at least 5 more eggs.


My friend’s wife hung out inside with A’s little sister.  It was fun to meet her for the first time.


My friends are in the states for 5 weeks this year, so we hope to get together with them a couple of more times.