Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

They boys don't dress up. Sean passes out candy at our house for a little bit, Brendan rides around the neighborhood with his friends, and Brian and I take Erin around for treats. This year we brought Ashley (Erin's best friend) and our neighbor, Kaley, too. Doesn't Erin look so much different with her platinum blonde, long, straight hair?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The farm

I took the kids to Rosas Farms today. We met up with my cousin, Liz, and her daughter, Sidney from Orlando. I brought Sean, Bren, Erin and Mazin. I have to say that every time I am there I am more happy that I found out about them, and that I am able to provide my family with their products.
Today we walked up to the part of the farm where the new little calves were hanging out, saw the baby chickens, and then walked up to where a group of the older cows were hanging out in the shade. The land is absolutely beautiful. I cannot imagine a better place for an animal to live its life.
Erin and Al Rosas own the farm. I had previously met Al. He's great, and very helpful to me in the market. Today we also got to meet Erin for the first time; decked out in her Halloween costume, too! She is such a genuinely warm, compassionate person, and I enjoyed getting to know her. They had lamb stew, fresh tuna, fresh cheese, and local grapefruits for us to sample, and it was delicious (Al is a gourmet chef, after all).
Liz and I both left the farm today with a boatload of meat, cheese and eggs (and local honey, Chef Al's BBQ sauce, homemade mayonnaise, etc.). I always feel so good when we come home and stock the freezer full from Rosas. Knowing from where my food comes really does matter to me, and I take pride in knowing that we are eating only the highest quality, grass-fed, organically raised, no hormone meats and eggs.

If you are local to Florida I would urge you to visit their site at (you'll see Chef Al's smiling face right there on the main page). They offer free delivery all over the state of Florida, and they now offer shipping-so even if you are not local you can purchase their delicious products. You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

1st Place for both tonight

Erin and Brendan both placed first in all of their qualifying races and their main events tonight. This is a video of Erin in her main event (the top three racers from the qualifying races race in the main event). Aside from the announcer calling her "he" and "this kid", it's a cute video. This isn't the announcer that has announced for her in the past, because he knows that Erin is a "she", not Aaron. Anyway, he refers to her as the "orange machine", and she loved that. Brian was a turn official in the second turn and took the video of her.

Erin and Justin Beiber

She spends a decent amount of time listening to JB on Brian's laptop. Here she is playing shy while she sings. Love the boots with shorts as she walks away.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin donuts

As I've mentioned before I am a huge fan of all things pumpkin. To my delight, one of my favorite baking/cooking blogs, Cheeky Kitchen, posted a recipe for baked pumpkin donuts. I saw it yesterday, went and bought the few ingredients that I didn't have today, and just took these gems out of the oven a few minutes ago. Let me tell you...try them! They will satisfy any craving you have for pumpkin. They are absolutely delicious!

The recipe can be found here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The garden grows

We have a new batch of goodies growing in the garden, and it's so exciting.
Our first corn!
The first pumpkin is getting huge, and will be ready for Halloween. It's about 18 inches in diameter now. About 7 more pumpkins are growing.
The tiniest cantaloupe.

More squash.
The cutest little watermelon I've ever seen.
My first bell pepper. It's the size of my pinky nail.

And although they are not part of the garden, the bougainvillea is beautiful this time of year. This dark purple is my favorite, and it's right next to the garden.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

2010 Disney Cup BMX Nationals

On Thursday evening Brendan left with Mazin and his family for Orlando. The Nationals started on Friday morning, and I had things to do for school on Friday so I couldn't go on Thursday. Brendan took first place on Friday in the novice category, beating two boys from Texas and North Carolina. We Skyped Friday night so that he could show me the trophy that he won. He's so proud.

Saturday morning Sean, Erin and I headed over to the race, and arrived just in time for the races to start. It's so much fun watching the racers. All of them. Unfortunately, Brendan had a pretty hard crash during the first race of the day, landing almost entirely on his left elbow and knee. However, he continued to race and took 2nd overall for the day. Another trophy, but one grumpy boy. We stayed at Nana and Aunt Diana's house Saturday night, and when I woke him up for racing on Sunday morning I knew he wouldn't be able to. His arm was swollen and he was still in a lot of pain. Had the pain been ANY less he would have raced, and he would have wanted to, but he knew he couldn't. So we missed the final day of races. However, we all had a great time. I'm so proud of Brendan for the races that he finished, especially on the second day after hurting himself. He came home with a 1st and 2nd place trophy, and even more than that he learned a lot about his riding and capabilities.

Josh Meyers from our track.
Brendan (third from the left) at the gate.

Mazin racing cruiser. He races cruiser and 20 inch.
Brendan, #658.
My cousin, Liz, and her daughter, Sidney (and her friend Candice), came out to watch on Saturday.

Mazin (on the right in red, white and blue) at the gate.

Brendan with his second day, 2nd place trophy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quiet house

Tomorrow Erin is leaving for two days to go to Disney with her bff, Ashley, and her family. They are staying in a hotel at the park, and it will be Erin's first "sleepover". I sure hope she does alright since it's a 90 minute drive to get to her.

Brendan is leaving tomorrow with Mazin's family for the Disney Cup BMX race in Orlando, too. Although he'll be close to Erin they won't see each other. The race runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and he'll race all three days. Sean and I will probably head over to watch him on Saturday or Saturday and Sunday, depending on how much school stuff I get done tomorrow. Some of my family in Orlando will be coming to watch him on Saturday, too. It will be exciting, and I'm looking forward to Brendan experiencing his first Nationals.

Erin is taking her camera with her, so perhaps we'll have some of her pictures to share on here once she gets back. I'll have plenty of Brendan to share, too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oh, how cute

Marley is such a snuggle bug, and she will cuddle up in your lap, lay with you on the bed, and basically let you do anything you want to do to long as you are paying attention to her. She really is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met.
Brendan and Marley snuggled together on my bed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kitty boy

My baby boy was posing for me a few days ago. He's so cute.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween gingerbread house

We have a tradition of doing a Christmas gingerbread house, but this year we did a Halloween one, too. It turned out pretty cute.


Mazin, Erin, Ashley and Layla (Mazin's sister) playing in our back yard this afternoon.

And the garden grows

And the latest produce includes two pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn and watermelon. We are hopeful that the larger of the pumpkins will be ready for Halloween.
The larger pumpkin. It's about 8 inches in diameter now.

And more squash. Love the stuff!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

So tonight...

Brendan raced in the intermediate category again, and he won the qualifying race and the main event. 1st place!

And Erin? Well, she raced all boys. Two intermediate and one other novice and she WON! 1st place for my girl, too.

A big night for my racers, and I'm so proud of both of them.

Clearwater Beach

Brian was gone all day on a fishing charter out in the Gulf, so after school I took Sean, Bren, Erin and Mazin down to Clearwater Beach. They played in the water, looked for shells, and Mazin did a bit of waveboarding. The sun was setting behind them, and it was so relaxing to just sit on the beach and watch them all have fun together.

One of the perks of having a big (BIG) brother.
So happy to catch this picture of my three kiddos.

Mazin was kicking the water towards me.
Afterwards we had dinner at Angelo's-our favorite pizza place. It's right on the beach, and the perfect ending to a few hours in the sand and water.

Angelo's. A local pizza place on the beach, and the BEST pizza. It's a little hole in the wall place, and you have to sit outside to eat because there is no space to sit inside.