2015 Year in Review

Christmas#1

2015 has been an amazing year.

As a family one of the greatest joys we’ve had this year has been joining the Launch Team for Hartford City Church.  This is a new church plant of the Evangelical Covenant Church, East Coast Conference.  Our mission is to glorify Jesus Christ and bless the city of Hartford.  The vision of the church is to participate in and experience God’s Beautiful Restoration in Hartford, CT (and beyond), Isaiah 61:1-4 is our seed verse.

Esther is in 3rd grade and doing great!  She loves her friends and is kind and caring.  She and Naomi are on the same indoor soccer team this Winter. Her favorite part of this year was taking our various trips to Old Sturbridge Village, with family and friends.

Naomi is in 1st grade and is also doing fabulously!  She is more quiet than Esther but just as sweet and kind.  She loves playing soccer with her friends from school and town.  Her favorite part of 2015 was having a play date with her friend Cam.

Matt has seen a busy year for work but he continues to grow in his position at Aetna and has a great team to work with.  He began brewing his first beer in January and made a few more batches over the year.  Ever the connoisseur, he was pleased with some and decidedly unpleased with others.  May brought knee surgery to repair a ruptured patellar tendon (it had ripped off his knee cap).  Matt’s surgery and recovery have been smooth and better than expected.  2016 will hold a return to running and golf for Matt, as both were put on hold during recovery.

Carey began 2015 by finishing her radiation treatment in January.  Over the summer she finished her Herceptin infusions and celebrated one year of having no evidence of cancer (aka remission).  There have been some setbacks this Fall with reconstruction, caused by an infection that brought a week at Hartford Hospital and removal of the implant used to reconstruct the right side (cancer side).  This means that 2016 will be the year in which Carey finishes reconstruction.  In the midst of the Fall’s challenges Carey began serving with MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers) as a Ministry Coach, working to support and assist the MOPS groups across CT and into NY.  Carey experienced the support and friendships that come from MOPS groups and communities and is very excited to be beginning to give back to this organization.

We have certainly had our challenges this year, but we have seen God’s hand carrying us through each day and challenge.  As people seeking to follow Jesus we know that Life will always have challenges, they are what shape us and build our character as well as our hope.

Our prayer for 2016 is that God would continue to draw us close to Him, that He would give us the strength and grace to meet each new challenge.  Our world can seem so dark at times, whether it is the individual challenges we face or the broader global challenges facing humanity.  We pray that 2016 would be a year that brings Hope, that as we celebrate the birth of Christ we would be reminded of the Hope that He came to give us.  As we go into the new year may we love and care for those around us with strength, humility, and grace, just as Christ did.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love the Penneys

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Ricotta Pancakes and waffles, oh my!!

Can you say ‘Yum’?

As a rule in our house we double our pancake recipes.  This is because our Littles (ages almost 2 and almost 4) will eat as many pancakes as my Love and I can, maybe more.  Before we had Littles we found a recipe for ricotta pancakes.  Actually I think that my Love started us down the curdy whey (sorry). When we were first married he made these amazing, thick, filling and glorious ricotta pancakes (at this point I can’t put my fingers or mouse on the recipe, I’ll update if I can locate it).

More recently we have been making another variety of ricotta pancakes that are mixed in a food processor or blender.  They are crepe-like in their consistency but high in protein, I was rather surprised how filling they were.  I have skipped the butter in the batter (forgot it was in the microwave) and not noticed much of a difference, as long as the griddle is well greased.  These are delicious with jam, fruit or, with the classic, pure maple syrup.  Yum!!!

Last month I found another great ricotta day-starter, or breakfast for dinner as was our case.  Ricotta waffles, these are yummy!! They are easy to make and a great hit with all our family and by great hit I mean that both Littles would have eaten the entire recipe if I had let them.  We served them with strawberry syrup (basically make a simple syrup and add a bunch of sliced strawberries to it and simmer for a few minutes).

Give these a try this weekend.  Or if you’re like me and need a fast meal due to lack of planning/foresight have them for supper tomorrow night.

Spring is springing… or at least trying to!

I have mentioned that I love all our seasons, its one of the things that I love about living in the northeast. After Winter Spring is so much more glorious, Summer is hot but not unbearably oppressive, Fall is my favorite with color, smells, crisp air and the prep for Winter, Winter is cold and bitter at times but it means sledding and skiing and hot cocoa and other fun times.

So our spring has had a slow start this year, after a record breaking winter of snow we are now seeing the flowers peaking through the ground and the grass (or weeds in our case) is starting to grow again. The birds are chirping away in the morning (that happened a little while ago actually) and Spring is springing up.

We went to the park on Tuesday, a wet and somewhat dreary day but I was bound and determined to get outside and let the girls run. It was great! The slides were fast, the sky was overcast but not raining and the girls ended up totally dirty/sandy/soaked. Does it get any better than that??

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is fun and even during my more “bitter” times I liked the day.  A chance to tell people more pointedly that you love and care for them is great.  Its kind of like a Thanksgiving for people.

I start with my immediate family and then head out through family and friends and I am thankful for each of you.  For the friendship and the fun times and character building times.  So who are your valentines?  Here are some of mine.

 

Biggest Little

Littlest Little

Love & BL - Sledding

LL - Waiting her turn

Love & LL - Sledding

 

The Flower Girl

January is over and the entire month seems like a blur.  We had a number of big events on our calendar this month so it flew by and now I am working to reclaim my house.  All the events were fun and well worth our time to be at or in them but the most memorable is our friend’s wedding.  Our biggest Little was the flower girl and a good friend of her’s was the ring bearer.  They were WAY too cute!  I give you Natalie and Mike’s wedding pictures (well really just a few of the all important flower girl and ring bearer):

Practicing THE walk at the rehearsal

Lets get those pre-wedding jitters out and some of that energy too.

Walking on the big day. They both did a great job!

Posing Littles

And now for the FUN!

He is a bit of a binge drinker. Really he'll down an entire sippy in 60 seconds!! 🙂

Not a binge drinker but still both had water (for the record).

Let the dancing begin. Note: she had her shoes off after the first song.

And it continues...

Our little flower girl danced and danced.  We had to drag her away, not quite kicking and screaming but pulling her away to go home after dancing for over 2 hours.  Pretty much straight through.  Oh to have that energy again!!

Saturday

So my Love is off with the Littles to our local children’s museum (The Lutz Children’s Museum) and I am left to a quite house except for Pup’s pattering and the radio.  To my fellow moms is there a nicer thing after a week of kids all the time and lots of snow?

Quiet…

Peace…

OK that was nice now its time to shower and run errands.  We are out of milk and our old house is leaking cold air like… well like old houses will do in the middle of winter.  So the day keeps going albeit a bit more quietly.  I hope you’re having a great weekend and enjoy whatever quiet and peace that you have in your day.

Short changes

When my first Little was born I had short hair, think pixie short.  I knew I’d never get it cut often enough to maintain that, plus my hair grew so fast during pregnancy I had to let it get a bit longer.  I had been working with pediatric hematology/oncology patients and their families during my pregnancy so I decided to let my hair grow and possibly donate it in the future.

Cut to (no pun intended) three years, or so, later and I was ready to donate.  Last Wednesday I cut off 13 inches of hair, then to get the cut about another 5 inches went.  Here’s the photographic evidence of the event (read: fantastic event).

Front before

Back

Front after

Back 🙂

So I have 13 inches of hair being sent into Pantene Beautiful Lengths: (http://www.pantene.com/en-US/beautiful-lengths-cause/Pages/default.aspx).  I’ve had my hair all sorts of different lengths from very long to very short.  I have never donated my hair before and I’m not sure that I will again but I’m glad that I am this time. 🙂