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rustling through the Iowa corn
married to my favorite amishman, and mom to four fabulously funny sprouts
Interests: family bike rides, swimming, gardening, anything artsy, reading, baking, learning & exploring with my kids, and beans of course!
Recent Activity
Clarence again, providing a quick wrap on our very busy summer. It seems crazy that the kids are already in school -- I guess that's what happens when you blink. Enjoy "Part 1." We kicked it off in style, with Levi taking a header at the park...right onto a stone wall. Fortunately, school had all but wound down, so the teachers were too exhausted to summon Family Services. As is the custom, we journeyed north, and the Syracuse crew travelled southwest for the annual Millanza Family weekend in Cleveland... ...which always spawns the summer baseball classic. As the adults quickly... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2013 at Bean Sprouts
This is Clarence on Christine's blog. Go get some coffee. Sit down. Relax. Let's flash back 16 years ago... Bill was inagurated...yeah, I voted for him the second time, and I've been trending Democrat ever since, even though my insightful wife STILL thinks I'm faking it. Scottish scientists cloned a sheep named Dolly...people went crazy because we'd surely begin cloning human beings in no time (maybe I could get a second Bean. I think that would be a win). Steve Jobs returns to Apple Computer. An amazing American success story. A man who never stopped giving back. Princess Diana dies... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2013 at Bean Sprouts
How can I possibly post our first days of school when I haven't even made note of one summer event??? (or the mention of any spring escapades, for that matter!) I'm beginning to understand (or accept) that it's just the way my brain functions: catch up, then lapse... catch up, then lapse again... all the while mentally beating myself up for not staying current. Oh well, it is what it is. And what it is now: is SCHOOL!!! for all 4 of my crew members... which has been quite an adjustment for this mom. My beautiful 6th grader (halfway to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2012 at Bean Sprouts
Those of us who are keeping track will know an obvious reason to celebrate #43 this year: Clarence's birthday. And celebrate we did: (or as much as you can on any random Tuesday in the middle of a work week): fish tacos with all the extras and homemade key lime pie (do you have any idea how many of those little key limes it takes to make one pie???... I probably squeezed at least 15 of those babies). Well worth the effort, I'd say-- both for the yummy treat and that big old sweetie of mine! Here's to you, Clarence...... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2012 at Bean Sprouts
So many happenings and so little time to play catch-up, so... before this new year completely sweeps me off my feet, I must make note of some of our special moments in 2011: Bird Watching: A feathered family nesting right outside our window... better than TV and so fascinating to see the babies hatch, feed, grow and eventually fly (we hoped). One of the more adventurous little birds skipped the test flight phase and jumped directly down to the deck... let's just say this: a dog, more jumpers, and an empty nest... hopefully they were quick learners in aviation. Baseball:... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2012 at Bean Sprouts
What better way to celebrate a day of love than to do so with a pan (or 5) of sweet rolls. Not just any out-of-the-can variety cinnamon rolls, mind you, but the world famous (at least in our world), incredibly awesome, ooey-gooey sticky, super-duper yummy: "grandma sweet rolls". I've known about these treats since Clarence and I started dating and have indulged in my fair share of them... always perfectly delicious. This is one of those wonderful recipes that has been part of a family history but never officially documented on paper. You know those recipes that only one person... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2012 at Bean Sprouts
I know, I know, I know... another birthday post far overdue; but, on the other hand, very fun to revisit the moment (and a much warmer moment, at that!). Nine years old on July 9th, 2011. Even Kings Island commemorated the official date and was the location of choice for Isaac's celebration. Lucky dog. I like to remind him how fortunate he is to have a summer birthday-- especially when he's feeling left out during our string of spring birthdays celebrated in varying degrees of questionable weather. And... no school. Ever. Like I said-- lucky. We had such a great... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2012 at Bean Sprouts
Time keeps passing and I keep thinking about all the time that keeps passing... it's a vicious cycle, really, and I'm afraid I need to play a little big game of catch up with all those months that have flown by! What better place to start than with this little cupcake of ours who turned 6 last April (and is now a quarter to 7!!) For the first time, Sophie chose to have a friends party. Not just any friends party: the I-don't-want-to-leave-anyone-out-so-invite-the-entire-kindergarten-class friends party. And so we did. Complete with piñta and the ridiculous amount of candy that flies... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2012 at Bean Sprouts
Based on the consistency of recent posts to this blog (or lack thereof), it may seem like I have taken a sabbatical to Antarctica, but sadly, my excuses for not writing are not nearly that exciting or adventurous. Recently, however, my littlest guy and I have had many adventures with a crew of imaginary penguins that make a daily visit, usually arriving (as announced by Levi) while we are in the car on our trips to and from everywhere. These little characters are sweet, funny and mischievous (strikingly similar to someone I know). There are 4: Pickles, Peng, Lovey and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2012 at Bean Sprouts
Not something I would expect to say in the middle of a 90-plus-degree heat wave, but that's just what we did one fine Sunday evening at the end of July. I'm talking corn, of course, and I had the pleasure of learning a simple and delicious method for freezing those fresh kernals from my dear mother-in-law. This little project was a family affair that began at a local farm where the boys picked up the freshest corn and brought it home to schuck immediately. Everyone was in on the action... Once all the husks and silk are removed from the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2011 at Bean Sprouts
If the title offends you, my semi-sincerest apologies...but that's who I am. To this day, I remain amazed by my blessed good fortune -- how I ever earned the right to spend the rest of my life with this woman will forever be a mystery to me. Simply put, I'm one lucky SOB*. A snapshot of our summer featuring the woman who is normally behind the camera... A rare moment of peace and tranquility in the midst of organized chaos With her youngest subject at the aquarium...whether they realize it or not, she's always teaching, and they are constantly learning.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2011 at Bean Sprouts
It's been raining here... a lot... and while the rain has managed to wash out MANY baseball practices and scrimmages, it has not dampened the fun: This was probably day 1 or 2 of our monsoon season, when the rain was "refreshing".... we're closing in on day 37... at least, and the rain is anything but refreshing. Man vs. Food during spring break... if you don't watch the show, you wouldn't understand. Man won, in case you were wondering. More fun with food... April Fools Day dinner: "grilled cheese" made out of pound cake and tinted frosting... no wonder Bella... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2011 at Bean Sprouts
... 4 years, that is. Our littlest guy was the latest to celebrate a birthday in our house. The last birthday he celebrated in Ohio was his actual birth day. Four years. Here I am again wondering where the time has gone. When I write these birthday posts, I am flooded with wonderful memories I want to capture and preserve for the future. This particular post is no different; however, Levi's anecdotes tend to be a bit more "colorful" at the moment... ... like telling his soccer coach on the very first class during a sprint drill: "You're going down..."... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2011 at Bean Sprouts
I blinked, and I'm now looking to find where 10 years have gone. I'm staring at a beautiful young lady who has grown in so many ways over the last decade... into an avid reader, a creative artist, an inventive sewer, a recreational swimmer, an industrious student, and an all-around incredible person. A decade... A decade of succeeding, failing, and learning... A decade of sharing laughter and tears... A decade of creating masterpieces-- big and small... A decade of making friends and being one... A decade of taking in the surrounding world and making it her own... A decade of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2011 at Bean Sprouts
Clarence turned 42 yesterday. Not exactly a milestone birthday, but certainly one to document and celebrate to the fullest (I'll let it slide that he departed mid-birthday-day for a week long business trip). We love you anyway. I find myself getting increasingly sentimental with each passing year... I'm so thankful to have this incredible guy in my life. There is so much to love: I love his zaniness... I love his sense of humor... I love his tolerance of my many quirks... I love that he can fix anything... I love that he has big dreams (and works to make... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2011 at Bean Sprouts
What would the start of a new year be without a remodeling project (or 5) in our house? Suffice it to say, we have embarked on a renovation plan that started out with a "simple" replacement of floor coverings in 3 rooms on the lower level... and has now morphed into an "all-but-the-kitchen-(for now)-remodel" and a "paint-every-square-inch- (and I mean every inch)- wall/ceiling/door rejuvenation," which includes a towering 2-story foyer with a precarious catwalk (of course) and a vaulted ceiling in the family room that's a lovely (ahem) shade of beige. Did I mention the miles of trim and molding... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2011 at Bean Sprouts
Wow, there's nothing like 70 degree weather in the middle of November to turn my thoughts to summertime (as with most mid-westerners, we bask in any remnants of warm-ish-ness before the great freeze of winter sets in). The debate on just who qualifies as a "mid-westerner" I will leave to my husband... his view on Ohio's status is quite interesting... but that's a post in itself. Sadly, it feels like this past summer was a blur for us-- it went by at such a hurried and hectic pace... and without enough documentation. Now is a perfect opportunity to recap some... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2010 at Bean Sprouts
I'm hoping the extra hour gained this weekend will inspire a renewed focus on catching up-- on many things, one of which is this blog. But the trick is figuring out just where to start. Time will tell.... For right now I'll simply enjoy the transition of the season: the crisp air, the colorful leaves, and the festivities that are part of fall: gathering sticks in the backyard for a fire... ... under a beautiful canopy of leaves... this chair, freshly painted with newly sewn pillow slipcovers (thank you very much, Norma)... a perfect perch on the back patio to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2010 at Bean Sprouts
It's never easy, and this time was no exception... after 3 fabulous years of living near extended family, reconnecting with old pals and forging new friendships, our crew is moving on and continuing our journey in a new place. While we are anxious to get settled and excited about what the future holds, it was with a heavy heart that we said "see you later" (hopefully sooner than later) to some of our favorite people. We miss you already. Grandma with her girls Isaac with Owen pulling Levi and Eva Grammie with her brood Bella learning yet another crafty skill... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2010 at Bean Sprouts
Oh snap!! In the extreme craziness of our lives, a birthday snuck up on us and almost passed right by (sheesh!)... but, fear not, we paused in our house-cleaning, space de-cluttering, room-rearranging, pre-house-hunting insanity just long enough to celebrate how great it is to be 8. And this guy is the greatest 8 of all... Isaac is a friend to everyone he meets, and he has an incredibly generous heart. He is in constant motion (sometimes simply running laps around the house), and his interests are as varied as his hair length: baseball, football, skateboarding, rollerblading, comic books, joke-telling, video... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2010 at Bean Sprouts
There are several recent events that I would like to document in this blog-- events with an overwhelming number of photos to review before posting any written text. They will be coming soon. For now, I am opting for the simple event of the moment (which will no doubt be an ongoing saga in this household... at least we hope it will be ongoing-- if our bunny-raising skills are worth anything at all). Baby bunny fever has swept the Beansprout household. This little nest of furry critters was uncovered by accident while mowing our knee-high grass (knee-high because my green-grass-obsessed... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2010 at Bean Sprouts
After months of practice and dress rehearsals, the girls were thrilled to showcase their talents in a stage performance: Sophie dancing to "Put on a Happy Face", and Bella to "True Colors": Too sweet for words.... Bravo, girls! Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2010 at Bean Sprouts
The evolution continues... from the looks of it, summertime must be approaching: hot mop vs. cool cut. Cool cut wins. You look good, Ez. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2010 at Bean Sprouts
Nothing beats a night at the ballpark... especially when I get to watch one of my favorite guys on the field. Isaac loves this game-- it's the season he looks forward to the most, and I'm right there with him when it comes to favorite pastimes (for me, of course, the love is in the watching, not the playing). Thankfully, Isaac inherited his baseball skills from Clarence, not his tee-ball strike out, dandelion-picking, star-gazing in the outfield mama. Rarely a day goes by that he's not practicing those skills, getting ready for the next big game... Playing catcher is his... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2010 at Bean Sprouts
... for kicks, I suppose I could belt out the Peter, Paul, and Mary version of the song... and to be clear: it disturbs me greatly that I actually know and remember the lyrics.... OK, so the normal variations in springtime temperatures typically result in some windy days (do I really need to get into the specifics of high and low pressure??)... which, given enough warmth in the air, could feel quite refreshing. Unfortunately, in our little corner of the world, we seem to exist in a wind vortex. I'm not exaggerating (Nonna can attest to this): the sustained winds... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2010 at Bean Sprouts