your dad

(Do these kiddos even understand how great they have it?)

Who would get up with you for the um-teenth time at night? And again in the morning?
Who would play endless games of Hello Kitty Bingo, Princess Memory and Dora Candyland?
Who would make fun of you when you got *hurt*, but would stick a band-aid on you anyways?
Who would make a special trip to the store, just to get you a baseball although I think that was more for him?
Who would sacrifice everything, just for you?
Your Daddy.
That's who.


29 and vegan

Yesterday Joey celebrated his 29th birthday. Happy Birthday Hun. Last year of his twenties. And what did he ask for? Besides a million dollars. Vegan cupcakes. Yes. He is currently on a vegan diet. Of his own will. So I found this recipe and let me tell you, it is fan-tas-tic!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
*1 cup soy milk
*1 tsp apple cider vinegar
*3/4 cup granulated sugar
*1/3 cup canola oil
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*1/2 tsp almond extract
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup cocoa powder
*3/4 tsp baking soda
*1/2 tsp baking powder
*1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin pan. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil and extracts to the soy milk mixture and beat till foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in two batches to the wet ingredients. (I mixed the wet ingredients in my KA and added the dry directly there.) Beat till no large lumps remain. Fill liners 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes till toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan five minutes and transfer to rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
*1/4 cup margarine softened
*1/4 cup shortening
*1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
*2 1/2 powdered sugar, sifted
*3 tbsps soy milk
*1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract

Cream together the margarine and the shortening until well combined. Add the cocoa powder and incorporate well. (Again, I did this all in the KA. It looked rather dry at first, but came together beautifully.) Add the confectioners' sugar in about 1/2 cup batches and beat well adding a little splash of soy milk after each addition. When all ingredients have been well incorporated, add the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Okay, so my frosting I used butter instead of margarine and regular milk instead of soy (used it all up in the cupcakes). Not exactly vegan...so Joey did not eat it [the frosting].

These were so easy and just absolutely dE-lish! I will be making them again.

Oh, and the recipe only makes about 12. Perfect amount.
Oh, and yes, I took that picture:)


could it be

A curl?
And those eyelashes. Is that even fair?



A *conversation* between 2 young sisters:

Marryn, crying after Reganne lost her new bouncy ball, "You're disgusting!"
Reganne's reply, "You cry like a baby!"

It truly is a love/hate relationship already.


maggie holmes actions

Maggie Holmes is one of my most favorite scrapbooker and photographer. And she has the coolest actions that you can purchase, but until recently, they were mostly all just for higher end Photoshops (re. expensive;) But last night I checked her blog and there it was, she was looking for testers to test out her actions on Photoshop Elements! Oh, was I ever excited! I made a comment, hoping to be chosen as a tester (re. free action set;) but really just excited that the actions were almost available to me. Imagine my surprise this morning when my name was drawn to be a tester for her Color Mix Actions! Yippee!
For the photo I decided to first run (I ran a few), was this one of Christian. It was taken on a very bright sunny day and yes, once again, I had the wrong light setting turned on. I was so bummed because it was so cute and I can't get him to keep on his sunglasses anymore. I LOVE the results. I kept everything at 100%, except on the SunKissed-decreased red 0% as recommended. I'll probably go back and redo some, adjusting them them a little, but for these purposes I just wanted to show them all at 100%.

SunKissed ("decreased red" 0%)




There are 5 houses in 5 different colors. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage.

The question is: Who owns the fish?

The Brit lives in the red house.
The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The Dane drinks tea.
The green house is on the left of the white house.
The green homeowner drinks coffee.
The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
The man living in the center house drinks milk.
The Norwegian lives in the first house.
The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.
The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
The owner who smokes Bluemaster drinks beer.
The German smokes prince.
The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water.

Einstein wrote this riddle early during the 19th century. He said 98% of the world could not solve it. Its not hard, you just need to pay attention and be patient.

I'll post the answer in a couple days.
(Or if you're impatient, here's the link www.naute.com/puzzles/puzzle13.phtml)

And yes, I figured it out myself...without cheating;)



We've got a crawler or something like that. Be sure to pause/turn off the music (scroll to the bottom), he makes some pretty funny noises.


blogs and books

So, lately I've been rethinking my blog. Don't worry, it's not going anywhere;)
No, just rethinking what purpose I want it to have.

I love blogging. I love working out my frustrations and problems this way and then recording my joys they often seem to slip my mind more than the challenges. And I love reading all of your blogs and gaining insight and wisdom. This has become my therapy, if you will.

So this year I started my Project 365, taking a picture a day.

And I love doing this too. I don't always get in a picture every day, so some come from other days, but the point, to record our daily lives, is still there. But I have found myself not posting things on my mind because I feel I have to put up my daily pictures. So, I have started a new blog, just for my picture of the day, pollfamily2009.blogspot.com. There is a link over on the right as well.

And this blog will go back to being my therapeutic outlet, with of course the *occasional* picture and story of the kids;)

So in light of my blog reorganizing, here's some cute pics of that adorable little guy of mine with a book.

I also want to thank everyone for their kind words regarding my last post. Thank you for listening.


Dear Landen,

Today would have been your 6th birthday.

Wish you were here to celebrate with us.

The girls *helped* me make chocolate cupcakes. Twice. The first homemade batch just didn't work out. So we then had to make a quick run to the store for a trusty boxed mix. While out we stopped and picked out 6 balloons for you. Christian was fascinated by them. The girls fought over them.

The day was not as sweet has I had hoped for. And not because of you, because I've since decided to make this a happy day for us. But no, it was just frustrating. The girls kept fighting and just would not listen. I later found out that they both got up at 6:30 this morning. Not a good day to miss Reganne's nap. I just wanted this perfect day, where the house is clean and picked up, the kids are good. We have a fun time making cupcakes and decorating them in fun ways. Later after dinner we sing Happy Birthday and blow out candles (which we still did). Everyone gets a little present (which we didn't do) and we just enjoy this day to the fullest.

But then, after Christian's bath, he was covered in chocolate by his first ever cupcake, I sat him on my lap and read him a story. Something I haven't done much. And then it came to me. This is how I need to celebrate you. This is what I need to do. Not just on your birthday, but everyday. I am blessed to be your mom. But you are where you need to be at this time. I am where I need to be at this time. And I have been given these three other precious children of God that I am responsible for. That I need to care for and love with all my heart. And I do.

So instead of letting the girls just fall asleep while *reading* their own stories. I read them stories. I let them pick out any story they wanted, which of course Marryn picked out the biggest and longest one, and I read them stories. And I enjoyed it. Oh, how I wish things could have been different. I wish that you could have stayed here with us, but I know this is how it needs to be. That there is a greater purpose and plan for us both. I may not always understand it fully, but I have faith.

And one day, one day hopefully not too soon, we will be together again.

But until then, I need to remember, remember my role here and now.

I love you and miss you as always.

Your Mom