Who do you see?

So often I see us in our children.
Think that Bentley favors Danny a lot….



until he smiles. Than I see me!

Marseille on the other hand, I see a lot more of me!

I think that their eyes are similar.



Sometimes when I look at her this is what I see:

Overall, I have to say that there is no mistaking that these are our children!! What do you think?

A little of this and a little of that

Okay, it seems like a long time since I have sat down and wrote an update! Probably because it has been! We have been keeping busy!

Marseille – She is doing so well. I’m so grateful! I just LOVE her. I think that I kiss her constantly :) Her last check up went well. She was 10.5 lbs (I’m pretty sure that she is over 11 lbs now!) She’s getting a huge double chin and a lot of rolls. She loves to talk and smile, even at Bentley. They are so cute together! When we are holding her, she prefers to be facing out so she can see. She’s nosey (sorry- curious) just like Bentley was!
Her little temper has already begun to show. Attention is her main priority, if we aren’t around and talking to her she will let us know! She is pretty strong and loves to push herself up and look around. She has rolled over from back to front once, but I think it was a fluke. I have got her sitting on the ground a couple of times… I think she is learning pretty fast! She has found her thumb, and is constantly finding it so I think that she will be like Bentley. I see so much of Bentley in her already. Some of the faces she makes are classic Bentley. Hopefully, his sweetness will rub off on her!
She is a little turtle. When she wakes up, you see her head pop up as she looks around! It’s so cute! That’s how I know she is truly awake.
I’m excited about her hair coming back in on the top of her head (that was the only place that she lost it!) Overall, she is doing well, and I can’t believe that she is just over 3 months old! She is already in 3-6 months clothes! The 3 month is a little tight! I feel like she is growing too fast! Did I mention that I love her!!!

Bentley – Gosh, where do I begin. This boy is growing WWWAAAYYY to fast! He makes me laugh all the time. He runs around like he owns the place. He loves for us to scare him. Though, he closed himself in the pantry two days ago and popped out. It scared me! He mimics us. A few weeks ago I took him to see the trucks at some property that is being built on a couple of houses down from us. He loves trucks. Well, the truck began to lift the back up and dump out dirt and Bentley dropped his jaw and said, “Aye Yi Yi!” Which he hears all the time from us! It was so cute to see that he knows how to use it!
Bentley loves to hold Marseille. Last night he was giggling/ laughing with excitement while he was holding her. He loves to kiss her and tell her “Hiiiiii!” He loves to get a burp cloth and wipe her mouth as he says, “Spit, spit.” He is very sweet and fairly gentle with her. Though, he did poke her in the eye when she was sleeping. That didn’t go over well!
He loves Mickey Mouse. Mickey is one of his clearest words. Which I think is crazy because that isn’t very easy!
He’s getting pretty brave. Yesterday, he climbed up our garage stairs by himself. Saying pup-pup-pup — supposed to be up-up-up! Also, last night he turned his clear toy container over and stood up on it. Which is pretty high! He was dancing and everything!
He is doing so well with his therapy. He loves the therapist and is never hesitant to go and play. As soon as he sees her, he says, “play.” Which is great. Actually, he has begun to apply what he is learning there at home. Partly, why he is getting brave about standing on things! But, I noticed that he kept leaning on things and putting his arms by his side. Not really normal for most people, but I asked Stacy if she had been teaching him to do that. She said, “That’s why it was so easy today! Normally he resists after a while, but today he just did it!” She has him lay over a peanut shaped exercise ball with his arms by his side. So that explains why he has been doing that! Smart boy!
Health-wise, he is still stable. His recent blood work came back normal. We are just waiting for his genetic testing results to come back.

Danny is doing well. He just made bonus again, and so far on top as an A tech for this quarter. Which is God’s grace because they are extremely slow right now. He’s been keeping busy and even some side jobs for a friend. It’s been fun to watch him grow as a father. Bentley adores him and always gets a smile out of Marseille!

We recently had Shannon and Krista up from FL to visit. We had a great time together. It’s so nice to have friends come around. We took them downtown and had Jessica and Katie Britt over to visit with them too! Their visit went by fast!

Next, Amy, Danny’s sister will be here and then my family for Thanksgiving! We are so excited about both visits.

Now as for me! I’ve been keeping busy. God had been showing me a lot of things, mostly remembering how far that I have come! Around my birthday, I began to remember that this is when I thought I would be getting married, at 26! That’s completely different from my life! I’m so glad that I already have a family and a wonderful husband. Who knows what I would be doing or pursuing right now if I didn’t have them!
I am so grateful for where God has me right now, even with all that Bentley is going through. I’m even grateful for that. I really think and know that God allows us to endure these sort of things to grow us closer to Him. My dependence on, trust in, and love for Him is greater because of it! I can honestly say that I am grateful and thankful for our suffering because if we didn’t have this in our lives I think I would take so much for granted. Each day, I am so thankful for Bentley and to hear his laughter and see his joy. Plus, I think about what we would be doing with our finances. As we trust God for the ability to pay all of our bills and meet our needs, I think about how we would probably be using the money on things that moth and rust will destroy and am amazed that He has been providing for all of our needs. All of these things are areas where only God’s grace can change me. God has really taught me that our children our not our own. If life is a vapor, what is the amount of time that we have our children? Each day I thank God for them, but I am also not fearful of losing them. My love for God and thankfulness to Jesus are greater than my love for Danny or my children. And going through all of this has taught me that! How can I not be thankful?! I’d rather go through this and learn than be oblivious!
Other than living out the Gospel, I have been doing a lot of laundry :) Cooking is still doing well. I really love to cook! Though, I still really want to learn how to bake good bread! Thanks Ann for being willing to teach me :)Also, Cam, soon to be a new member in our church is teaching me how to knit and crochet properly. She said that I am doing it right I just needed a boost in confidence. It’s true when someone tells you that you are doing something right, it makes things go easier! I am also in the middle of making Christmas presents. I love doing that!

Well, I’ve GOT to go. I hear Bentley and it’s lunch time!! Sorry that this is so long! I need to make sure that I post more frequently!!

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Classic Recipes in our home!!

Here are some of our family favorites! Now they are all in one place and I don’t have to search for them! Hope that they might be helpful :)

ABC Potato Salad
Rachel Manning
Rachel cooked this for me for my birthday last year. It is my favorite!!!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 lb red potatoes
1 lb Yukon gold (or other “buttery”) potatoes
1 bundle (approx. 1 lb) asparagus spears
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (regular or white)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
to taste salt
to taste pepper
1 Tbsp dried dill (opt)
1 Tbsp dried basil (opt)

Directions
Cook the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. To do this, put the chicken into large pot and cover with water, bring it to a boi, and boil for 30 minutes. Then remove the chicken and cut it up. Cool slightly.

While the chicken is cooking, wash the potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces. Steam them for about 8 minutes – they will not be tender yet.

While the potatoes are steaming, prepare the asparagus. Wash and trim the asparagus. Cut into 2 inch pieces. After the 8 minutes is up on the potatoes, add the asparagus to the potatoes and continue to steam for another 7 minutes until the asparagus is tender (15 minutes total for the potatoes). Cool slightly.

While the asparagus is cooking, prepare the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and either the dill or basil.

In a large bow, combine the chicken, potatoes, asparagus, and dressing. toss to coat. You can add additional dill or bisil if you would like more flavor, but i don’t recommend more thatn an additional teaspoon.

Serve warm.

The leftovers (if there are any) are good eaten cold as well.

Balsamic Chicken Drumettes
Giada De Laurentiis
This is a great entertaining recipe! Everyone loves it! It’s quick, easy and best of all YUMMY!

Ingredients
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce OR Tamari (wheat free)
5 sprigs of rosemary
5 garlic cloves, halved
10 to 12 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions
Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves, in a large, re-sealable plastic bag. Shake and squeeze the contents of the bag to dissolve the honey and the brown sugar. Add the chicken drumsticks to the bag and seal with as little air as possible in the bag. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the skin is caramelized and very dark in spots, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes. Reserve.

Use a pastry brush to brush some of the cooked marinade on the cooked chicken. Place the chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the chopped parsley. (I have omitted this depending on who is eating it!)

Cook’s note: I like the rosemary and garlic flavors in the background. Brushing the cooked drumettes with the reduced marinade helps the flavors along. Also, re-moistening helps the parsley and the seeds to adhere.

Tango Joes
Rachael Ray
This is Bentley’s favorite!

Ingredients:
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 pounds lean ground beef sirloin (I use only 1 lb of lean ground beef)
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (3 generous handfuls)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (eyeball it)
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 Portuguese or kaiser rolls

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300°. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up, until browned, about 7 minutes. Season the meat with the paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm over low heat.

Meanwhile, make the chimichurri: Using a food processor, pulse together the onion, garlic, parsley, vinegar, oregano, thyme and rosemary until finely chopped. With the machine on, pour in the remaining 1/3 cup EVOO.

In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Stir into the meat and bring to a simmer. Stir in half of the chimichurri and cook for 5 minutes.

Warm the rolls in the oven. Split them and slather the cut sides of the tops with the remaining chimichurri. Pile the meat onto the bun bottoms, cover with the tops and serve.

Sausage, Peppers and Onions
Giada De Laurentiis
The marsala wine makes this– don’t skip it!

Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Marsala wine
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
4 to 6 fresh Italian sandwich rolls, optional

Directions
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.

Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls. Or, if serving as a sandwich, split the rolls in half lengthwise. Hollow out the bread from the bottom side of each roll, being careful not to puncture the crust. Fill the bottom half of the roll with sausage mixture. Top and serve sandwiches immediately.

Bird in a Pie
Gui Fieri
This is so good. I love the herbed crust, who doesn’t love a little extra flavor!

Ingredients
For the Crust:
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for board
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons dried thyme (I use 2 tsp dried thyme)
4 teaspoons dried sage (I use 2 tsp dried sage)
4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
12 to 16 tablespoons cold water
For the Filling:
3 tablespoons butter
1 sweet onion, diced
1 medium shallot, diced
5 celery stalks, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups hot chicken stock
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped
2 cups frozen diced carrots and peas
2 teaspoons dried sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, whisked, for egg wash
Special equipment: 4 (5-inch) aluminum pot pie pans
To prepare the crust:

Directions
Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons thyme and sage in a food processor, pulsing until combined. Add in 2 sticks butter, 4 tablespoons at a time, pulsing after each addition until mixture forms coarse texture. Slowly add in 6 to 8 tablespoons cold water while machine is running, 2 tablespoons at a time until dough balls up in processor to one side. Remove dough onto a lightly floured board, cut in half and form into 2 (8-inch) rounds. Wrap each tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes prior to rolling out. Repeat to make second batch of dough.

To prepare the filling:
In large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat; add onions, shallot and celery. Saute until just starting to brown. Stir in flour and saute for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in hot stock, stirring well. When bubbly and thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes, stir in chopped chicken, carrots and peas, and sage. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Let cool while rolling out dough.

To assemble pies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured board, cut the rounds of dough in half. Roll pieces into 6-inch rounds, about 1/4-inch thickness. Place a round in the bottom of 4 aluminum pie pans and lightly press the sides and bottom to fit the shape of the pans. Generously top with filling until full and slightly mounded. Top with second piece of crust and pinch seams together. Cut 2 small slits in top. Brush with egg wash. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Aprons…

I made some aprons for Abbi and Esther and check out Kelli’s blog to see them. (click here) I love making things for their sweet family!

This should be the beginning of my apron posts. Which Kelli and her girls will be modeling for me!

Kidney Update for Bentley

On Oct. 13th, we had a check up with the Nephrologist. He was very please with Bentley’s weight gain and growth. He had a jump up on the chart for both and is almost on the lowest precentile. He had actually gained half a pound in almost two weeks, and he didn’t drink any Peptamen either! Praise God! We were between shipments and wanted to see how he did without it.

There is not too much to report from the actual appointment. The Nephrologist said that Bentley is looking good and definitely growing :) Bentley didn’t even bat and eye when he had his blood pressure taken. It’s still on the high side of normal, but still not high enough for hypertension medicine :) We had blood drawn for a rescreening for his Alkaline Phosphate (which was off the charts high last time, but not a concern, it just needed to be retested) and for Genetic Testing. The Genetic Testing will see if he has autosomal polycystic kidney disease because there is still the possibility that he might not. We will get the results back in about 6 weeks. The blood is sent to Alabama where one of the top kidney doctors will be reviewing and testing it. If it comes back negative our doctor said that he will be picking her brain on what to do next. Otherwise, it was just a regular check-up, how is he doing, what is he doing… and all that jazz. We have another appointment and full stomach ultrasound scheduled for January! I can’t believe that it has been almost a year since all of this started. That will be a post for another time :) I’m can’t express how grateful I am that he is still stable and living. God has been very good :)