Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Camera issues

Our camera is not working so our photo posts will be a little less than normal. Well, it's mid-winter and we are doing good. The girls are both getting really big. Ava is almost three and Sophia is one.

Sophia is walking, talking ("hi," "bye," "daddy," "hola," "mommy," and some other things) and is taking one nap usually unless she is really tired. She loves to dump and play, get into the toilet water and to try to get into all of my cabinets. She is a big mommy's girl. If she doesn't see me for two hours she will give me the biggest bear hug. I love it.

Ava is miss adventure. She is taking "nastics" and loves to do somersaults, walk on the high beam and go under the parachute. Naptime is a little bit of a challenge as she isn't as tired, but she falls asleep around 5 pm if she does not take a nap.

She told me yesterday, "Mom, the birds are eating snow!" Then told them not to eat the snow, which was really birdseed. She also burped twice in my face and when I told her not to burp in my face she said, "Two burps mommy! That was two burps!" Oh my. What do you do with a 2-year old girl who is too smart for herself.

Her favorite toy is her stethoscope that Aunt Kelly gave her. She uses it to take care of her bears and dolls.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I love this blog post about redemption and grace at Baby Bangs' site. It's the jan. 10 post. So great and so on my mind in this new year full of new possibilites amidst sad and trying times.

Did you know that you are loved? That you can never ever earn more love from Christ?

He loves you as much now as when you are eighty.

His love is
Ready for you.
Full of hope.
Ready to fight through your hurts and pain.
There even when you are in a bad mood.
There when you hurt or lose a loved one.
There when you are lost or alone.
There for YOU because you are loved with an amazing love so unfathomable that no one will ever understand it.
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chocolate is oh so better with coffee

I had a cooking epiphany after reading the Ina Garten's latest cookbook. Your food will taste a whole lot better when you take a moment to taste it and add the finishing touch.

". .I don't see any reason why we can't buy perfectly good ingredients in a grocery store, cook them simply, and serve an absolutely delicious meal that will delight everyone at the table, Garten said. "

And "What truly fires my imagination is taking ordinary ingredients and cooking them--or pairing them--in a way that 'unlocks' their true flavors."

Garten believes that you should use foods which are in season and amplifiying their flavor, not changing it.

Among the "unlockers," she says, are Reggiano Parmesan cheese, wine vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Pernod, coffee, cream, etc.

This may mean squeezing some bright lemon zest and juice in your pan fried mushrooms (always) or olive oil over a soup for a rich finish. The fat from the oil will coat your tongue and make you feel full faster.

I love, love making grilled cheese with fresh mozzerella and tomato and using balsamic vinegar to dip my sandwich in. So simple, yet delicious!

Finally, chocolate will always taste better with the addition of coffee!

It's Restaurant Week in Cbus!

Cape Cod Chowder from Tucci's, filet of beef from Lindey's, or a seafood paella from Barcelona. It's all featured during Restaurant Week in Columbus.

Visit the site or the 614 Magazine twitter page for info. I personally love this week because it allows you to help a worthy cause (Mid-Ohio food bank) and to get a great meal at a great price. They have three courses at a set price. Many times the food is considerably lower than normal.

Only thing? Make a reservation quick as fav restaurants fill their spaces quick!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pray for Haiti

Watching this CNN video of U.S. troops dropping food to Haitians who had gone without for four days is rough. It brings tears to my eyes to see their desperation and hunger. Please pray for them as well as rescue workers who are working around the clock.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

bakerella cupcakes and cameras

Bakerella has some great tips on taking photos on her site. I love it. It is really easy to understand and explains the equipment she uses to photograph everthing from cupcakes to cookies.

Ava and the Pioneer Woman's French Breakfast Puffs

Ava after eating the puffs. I had to capture it on camera.

The Pioneer Woman's delicious breakfast puffs. Heck eat them all of the time!
Put these in the freezes beautifully section of your recipe cards.

I made these two weeks ago and loved them.
These puffs are so incredible good because they are made with both cinnamon sugar and butter. I love eating them right out of the oven and they are super easy to make.
They take about 20 minutes, plus 20 minutes for cooking. Brandon loves eating them in the afternoon with a cup of coffee. As Ava says, "It makes me happy." Why food can make you happy, I am not sure. I just know the smell of cinammon is just oh so comforting.

I got the recipe from the Pioneer Woman's cookbook.
Here's the recipe. Let me know how you like it!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Christmas at the Shmidts

Ahh. This is "vacation brandon." Vacation Brandon is our funny thing we say to explain how relaxed he is on vaca. It usually happens anytime we travel away from our house, but especially Colorado (just saying "Colorado" makes Brandon smile. So serious. Try it this week.). Ava took this picture!
This was Ava's favorite new book, a disney storybook. Isn't she getting so big? I love her in purple and brown. My fav colors on her.

Sassy Sissy! I used to hate the word sissy. Hated it when parents called the younger sister, sissy. But, man it just seemed to fit her when she came and it stuck. Now I have to make myself say Sophia more. Never say never.

Sophia and Brandon before bed on Christmas Eve.

Poppa Shmidt and Sophia relaxing.

Christmas at our house.

Ava using her magic wand. Brandon picked out her cinderella costume.
Sophia opening up her bath toys from Brandon and I.
My knives! So excited. My whole cooking world has been turned upside down with my birthday/christmas present. Don't you love the new OSU sweatshirt Brandon got me too!

Ava opening up her Three Muskateers Barbie.

Sophia was exhausted on Wednesday morning before we opened presents.

Just so sweet.

Ava reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear to Sophia.
Sophia was Ava's little student and sat polite as can be while Ava read to her.
Let me frame the scene
I was cleaning the kitchen and didn't hear the girls at all. I looked and found Ava reading to Sophia in the other room. Ava was sitting reading to her and Sophia was still. Very still. Amazingly still for a little one-year old.
I was just struck by how sweet they both were.

Christmas at the Kuhns'

Ava opening her boots from Cheyenne, Wyoming from them.
Sophia, Luke and Kelly in the fray of presents.

Charlotte and Sophia before opening presents.

Momma Kuhns and Sophia. Notice the sweet ice cream maker in the back we got her?

All of the kids wanted to open the presents.

Christmas at mom and dad's

Aunt Becca opening a present.
Poppa Kuhns and Charlotte the little princess.

Brandon watching everyone open their presents.
Luke watching the game before dinner.

The little cousins. They just make me laugh looking at them. This bunch is ornery! Ethan, Ava and Sophia. They couldn't wait to open gifts.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Isn't it funny when God has a certain thing He is trying to get through to you and He hits it home at certain times?

I just wrote about grace on Sunday and tonight I heard another message about...grace. Great word.

At night when I have had a really long day, I love to listen to Pastor Adrian Rodgers on 89.1 FM. Rodgers makes the most basic lessons of life so captivating. I really love listening to him and the way he explains the Bible in simple, basic terms.

I listened to this tonight after taking my niece and nephew home from our house. My sister-in-law Kelly's dad is in the hospital and is suffering from cancer. She shared Christ again with him and it just really hit home tonight about how we know when we are saved.

This is his message on audio. Don't you love it? Sounds like a really basic message. But, it still spoke so much to me. Especially the part about asking people in our city if they are going to Heaven and having them reply, "I'm not sure," "i am doing the best I can," or "If I do good enough."

"...Not think, not wonder, not hope, but KNOW, that you have eternal life."

Sunday, January 03, 2010

One Word (or two) to sum up 2010

Word-promise or declaration (6; Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Several times over the past week I have heard people mention that instead of having a New Year's resolution, stating one word for 2010 is a better way to go.

First on NPR and then today in service at Vista. And then from my Aunt Chris who's word is courage. I love it. Courage. What a great word.

One word that defines how you foresee 2010.

Do you have goals? A new job or hobby (explore) or a new business (creative)? Running a 5k (active)? Try to pin down one word this week that summarizes what you want to accomplish in Him.

One reminder...BB4D. I love it. Be before do. Don't try to run out and accomplish anything without sitting down and making sure it's what's Christ's will for you right now at this time.

Some people believe in going out and doing amazing things for the Lord. Just as Jesus said He sees where the Father is working and is there, we need to be where the Father is working in our lives. This means having quiet time whether it's at the kitchen sink doing dishes if you are a busy mom or driving home from work if you are a dad that commutes a lot. Looking to see where He is working and then moving there.

Some of these words were taken from Pastor Mike's message:


I think my word for 2010 is Creative and Grace. yes, I am cheating. I know it. But, I just can't choose between the two.

Creative: marked by the ability or power to create : given to creating 2 : having the quality of something created rather than imitated : imaginative

Brandon's word this year is Grace.

Grace- unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b: a virtue coming from God c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace