Thursday, April 29, 2010

Birthday Bike

Ethan is now 5 years old. He got a spiderman bike and had a spiderman birthday party.

Lemon merengue pie! I'm so domestic!

I baked my first lemon merengue pie and was awfully proud of it. My crust technique can obviously use some work, but it tasted yummy! Caitlyn requested another one for her birthday (so I made 2 this time, and they were much prettier)

Then yesterday, I made my first cheesecake that didn't start in a box. We sampled it this morning and it was also scrumptious.

Now, where's that Pilates video????

babies, babies, everywhere!

What was it the neighbor said when he stopped by? "You must be feeling very motherly!" I GUESS! On April 14, 5 baby Rhode Island Red Chicks arrived to the delight of our children. They are Fluffy (Ethan's), Ginger (Ali's), Kyzl (Caitlyn's), Nora (Casey's) and Popcorn (mine and Sophia's technically, but Caitlyn's friend CHrista has adopted and named) They were originally housed inside a filing cabinet drawer in the garage. Now they hang out in a huge dog kennel until the coop is finished in the backyard. We'll be in for it if any of them are not the laying type!

Then, for Caitlyn's birthday, and after years of her begging and pleading, we gave in and got her a Yorkie puppy for her birthday. She named him Xanthos, which is actually a Greek city, but she liked the way it sounded. He's adorable and we have all fallen in love with him.

Then of course there is our sweet baby Sophia who has discovered her thumb!! She's such a great baby, and at the risk of jinxing it, has been sleeping between 7 and 10 hours at night for a couple of weeks now.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Future Hall of Famer


Ethan's first time up to bat!
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Monday, April 5, 2010



Hard to believe she's still just 13! What a beauty!
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Ethan and Ali


I Love This Picture!
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

I had too many good pictures to post separately so enjoy the new slideshow.

The kids have enjoyed 3 separate Easter egg hunts, two parties, and lots of fun. They even got to try their hands at fishing from the golf course pond. Hope everyone has had a wonderful Easter.

Oh - Ethan finished his first book in the series of Readers. We celebrated with cake and an official ceremony. The cake looked prettier than it tasted! I should have watched the YouTube video about "folding in" whipped egg white BEFORE I made it. That was a triple layer cake! Yah, I know, you all have to look closely at the picture again.

Sophia weighed in at 11 lbs. 8 ozs. at her 2 month well-baby! We love our sweet tempered little munchkin!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Creme Brulee

I made some. It was easy! Thanks Nancy (mom) for the cool kitchen torch. I've had so much fun trying new recipes lately. There are so many yummy ways to serve a chicken, for example!

Sophia is growing like a weed, and I need to post new pics soon!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My birthday

I forgot to mention in my last post that Casey's birthday gift for me this year was a cookbook stand (I LOVE) and have wanted for ages, and a Le Crueset dutch oven which I used for the beef bourgignon. Good stuff! If only I didn't have to add that extra year to the tally.

Eating Right

In recent months, the Ratliff family has been making a valient effort to be more healthy - in particular, in the food we eat. Casey has spearheaded this effort and admittedly with much resistance on the part of his wife and teenage daughter who, let's face it, Really like spaghettios and toaster strudel! However, he did not throw up his hands and say forget it; he kept pushing and we have gradually gotten used to the idea.
The hardest part for me is not buying the cheapest brand at the grocery store, but choosing the organic version which is always WAY more expensive, and reading the labels for the least processed, nitrite free, high fructose corn syrup free versions of everything, the grass-fed meat, the fresh veggie and fruits, etc. You ever notice the cheap processed food is much more affordable. No wonder America struggles with weight gain! Anyway - we are working at it, and I am on board. (We do have occassional treats and hot chocolate in the mornings - made from the finest ingredients and sugar substitutes of course!)
Last night, I made beef bourgignon from scratch, and it was amazing. We have fresh bread several times a week, etc. The most exciting thing is, I haven't had a soft drink since Jan 31, and have almost completely eliminated the fast food stops!!! Here's to a healthier life!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Did I say Extremely quiet

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sophia Grace is here!

Our new bundle of joy arrived on Monday, February 1, 2010. She weighed in at 8 lbs, 1.2 ozs. and was 20 1/2 inches long.

Quick birth story - I was scheduled for induction on the 1st because we live almost 3 hours from the hospital and I was having my 4th. Didn't want a roadside delivery! Casey's mom Nancy was due on the 31st to help us with the other monkeys, so after 2 weeks of false labor we were happy to make it to that point! I was supposed to call at 0430 to confirm they had space, but got a call at midnight that a bed was available and to come on in. At 1:30, I was checked and already at 4 centimeters so she was on her way anyway. They monitored my contractions for about 2 hours, and then started pit to help me get into a pattern, which I immediately did. Another hour later, doc broke my water, still at 4. I got an epi at 6ish, which didn't start working till 6:30 or so. Sophia was born in one contraction (2 little pushes) at 7:39 am. They logged my active labor at 2:39. I'm thinking "thank goodness I didn't have to drive to San Antonio in labor!" She came into the world screaming, but has been an extremely quiet baby from that point on.

Her siblings all love her dearly. My biggest job so far is protecting Sophia from the "lovin" of her 2 year old big sister!

More to follow.

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