Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for June, 2009

A day fit for a princess…

29th June 2009

Five yaers ago, even at this late hour (remember Steve & Corrie?), my little girl was about to burst into this world and change my identity forever… for the better, as I gained the title of “mother”. So cliche, I know, but I can’t believe my tiny 6lb 15oz wide-eyes bundle has grown into such a beautiful young woman. We had a lovely day (that started early due to the excitement!) with tiaras, bedroom makeovers, friends & family, princess cake, and lots of presents and love.

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Six sweet years…

28th June 2009

We just got back from an anniversary/bike race weekend… the first time in 6 years that we’ve had any time to enjoy our special day together!  It was lovely… right down to the chocolate mousse cheesecake we shared in memory of my our wedding cake.  (Thanks, again, to Dena for being the cake courier!)  My computer battery is dying, and bedtime is nearing, but I can’t let this day pass without saying how blessed I am.

Amazing memories from June 28th, 2003… rain most of the day, but it didn’t dampen our spirits; meeting Brian for a quiet few moments and prayer before the pre-ceremony photos; praying separately with our respective wedding party members before the ceremony; a ceremony that we still talk about as “perfect” with awesome music; surprising my sweet husband with a song during the ceremony; our first sweet kiss; a fun reception with delicious food; clouds of mosquitoes as we attempted a few outdoor photos; driving away with little gold hearts blowing out our air vents (there are a few still hiding in there!  We are determined that we’ll be newlyweds as long as we can see them reflecting in the front window!), sharing the day with the most special people in our lives.  If you were there… thank you!  And we probably talked about you today 🙂  So much has happened in these awesome 6 years, and we’re so very thankful and excited to see what God has in store for the future.

And Brian… I love you so very much.  I’m so glad you found me in Texas nearly 8 years ago!  You are my dearest friend, and I’m so happy to share this life with you.   I’ll always be your #1 fan!

Photo courtesy of Analise at a bike race earlier in June.

Photo courtesy of Analise at a bike race earlier in June.

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Three and Five Year pictures…

26th June 2009

I swear… my kids are so cute.  Well, Josiah’s cute, but Analise is beautiful 🙂  We had photos taken this week (and Analise isn’t quite 5, but she’d excitedly tell you there are 3 more days!!!), and I’m so pleased at the way they turned out.



Posted in Daily Grind | 2 Comments »

a few words…

19th June 2009

It’s been a relatively quiet couple weeks here.  We’re keeping busy and happy (mostly!).  Yesterday and today were the epitome of summer days… sprinkler, slip ‘n slide and water balloons on a hot day, popsicles and lightning bugs, a long day at the pool.  It’s in the 90’s here, so you either stay inside in the air conditioned cool or you stay wet outside 🙂

We’re leaving early in the morning for St. Louis, of course for a bike race!  Analise still remembers the Arch from last summer.  It made such an impact on her young mind!  Josiah has grown up a bit, though he’s still torn between playing princesses and following in his Daddy’s footsteps.  Brian’s racing in a big pro/elite race, the Tour of Winghaven, on Sunday afternoon.  His parents are joining us for the race, staying the night with us, and hopefully we’ll see the St. Louis Zoo on Monday, before the long drive back Monday afternoon.  Look for short photo updates from my iPhone!

Lastly… I have to put a plug in for one of my favorite sites, where my beautiful birthday Mom necklace came from, The Vintage Pearl.  Next week, she’s having a week of giveaways… so check in and maybe you’ll win something!  If I can’t win, I hope you do 🙂

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Summer truths

16th June 2009

I’ll admit…
We’re letting things slide around here. We built a fort in the family room this weekend… and it’s still up. The kids have been enjoying meals and movies in it all week. More and more of their toys are moving out of their room into the fort, or at least into the family room to be near the fort. And really… I’m choosing to not make myself crazy by cleaning up constantly. Because it’s just going to get un-cleaned-up again very quickly. With both kids at home most days, I know the potential for me to be frazzled and grumpy at the end of the day, probably due to my usually futile efforts at keeping things picked up around their happy, entertaining play.

So this afternoon we played in the sprinkler for an hour. Well, they did, while I relaxed in a dry spot (not without lots of drips when they came to bring me flowers and tell me they loved me… how lucky am I?). I made them dinner to eat in their fort while they watched a movie from the library for a later-than-usual bedtime. We even had a dance party before heading to bed.

My house is pretty messy lately. At least the bathrooms are clean. By my standards, it makes me crazy to not have things picked up. But really… we’re enjoying ourselves. And isn’t that all that matters? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again because it was the best piece of advice an older, wiser mom ever told me… When my kids are grown, they won’t remember how clean my house was, but they will remember the fun we had in it.

So if you drop by, maybe whatever I’ve baked/cooked up will help you overlook the mess and join in the fun and laughter that is our family!

Posted in Daily Grind, Parenting | 1 Comment »

Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet little man…

9th June 2009


I’m so emotional tonight!  My kids birthdays are far sweeter to me than even my birthday!  Three years ago today, I was getting to know my sweet little strawberry-blond headed boy.  Three years ago, I fell in love with another man, albeit a little one.  Three years ago, I learned the miracle that there is always enough love to go around.  Three years ago today, I had no idea how to mother a boy.  I still feel like I have no idea some days!  But things I have learned: Don’t fight the dirt, or for that sake, the mess.  Anything with wheels is immediately at least 5 minutes of entertainment.  Boys are boys… and therefore, construction vehicles and trains are all very exciting.  Keep the penis covered, otherwise you never know what might get wet!

Josiah, my love, my sweet little man…

What a handsome loving little guy you are!  My favorite memories of you right now are how you randomly race up to us, wrapping our legs in  a bear hug, saying “I wuv you.”  Or when you climb on me while I’m sitting at the computer, just for a snuggling moment.  And how you like to have the last word as I’m putting you in bed, saying “I wuv you so much!”, to which I reply, “I love you so much!”  Tonight I caught a rare glimpse of you and Analise hugging good night.  My heart melted.  You and Analise are the loves of my life.  And I love our evening prayers, as you won’t let me forget to pray that you grow up big and strong like King Josiah.  I can’t wait to see the man you’re going to become!  Happy 3rd birthday, Little Guy!

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On the Road! The South Carolina Beach

8th June 2009

We’ve just figured out how to post to our blog from the iPhone, so you can look forward to more blog updates while we’re on the road. And they’ll be short and sweet with the finger-typing, and probably include photos from my handy little camera phone. Yeah for the iPhone Worsdress app!

We were in SC this weekend for, of course, bike races, as well as a side trip to see Brian’s grandmother today. Brian got second in Sunday’s rainy road race (after winning last weekend’s road race in Dahlonega, GA! See details and photos at his Toone Cycling blog!). We also squeezed in an afternoon at the beautiful Hunting Island Beach yesterday. Here’s a couple pics from our time there.

Posted in Adventure, iPhone, Travel | 1 Comment »

Josiah’s First “School” Day!

4th June 2009


Tuesday, Brian strapped Josiah into the backpack for his first day at “school”, the summer program at the preschool Analise has been going to.  He was excited to head off on the walk through the woods with Daddy, as he’s seen Analise head off many times.  It was a fun day for him!


Just 3 years ago, Brian walked Analise over for her first day of school… the week after Josiah was born.  My… how time flies!

I walked into school to pick him up instead of driving through the carpool line.  One of the first things he said to me was, “Mommy, I want to go swimming!”

“We’re not going swimming, sweetheart.  Maybe this weekend at the bike race we’ll swim in a pool at the hotel.”

“I want to go swimming!”

“Josiah, we’re not going swimming today!”

“I want to go to carpool.  I want to go swimming!”

I’m still chuckling… he refused my explanations that carpool doesn’t involve swimming, and I think when he finally goes to carpool, he’s going to be very disappointed!

Analise and I had a fun day together while Josiah was at school.  We picked out birthday presents for a few friends, shopped for Josiah’s birthday next week, visited the library, and she got a pretty, stylish haircut.  I enjoy being with my sweet girl… it’s so rare for the two of us to be alone together!   She’s growing up to be quite the articulate, charming, chattery, beautiful young lady.  Every night when I go in to check on them before I go to bed, I’m in awe at who my tiny little girl has grown into.

Can you tell June is a very sentimental month for me??  5 years ago I was huge, achingly pregnant, and waiting for my little girl to arrive.  It was a long, long month, and I honestly feel like I can remember every day of anticipation and her arduous arrival.  3 years ago, tonight even, I was again huge, achingly pregnant, and trying to savor the last days of one-on-one time with my sweet almost-2-year old girl, before Josiah’s impending arrival.  I remember lots of sno-cone trips, Moe’s kids-eat-free dinners, long, painful nights on the couch with my aching back, and soaking my swollen feet in the wading pool while Analise splashed.  And watermelon… lots of watermelon 🙂

I love June… such sweeet memories.  Don’t even get me started on my memories of 6 years ago!!  I’d dissolve into tears writing those!

Posted in Parenting | 2 Comments »

What’s Cookin’… Lasagna ala Lane

4th June 2009

This is good, good stuff.  My mother-in-law makes delicious, traditional lasagna.  And when I saw the beautiful Taylor Lane putting this all together in my kitchen tonight, I wasn’t sure I’d like it, as I don’t like too much onion and I REALLY don’t like sausage.  But  the sauce is amazing, and the *secret* ingredient of sour cream instead of ricotta gives a really great twist to the already deep flavor.  (How’s that for a food review?  Good food is inspiring!)

And I’ve always thought lasagna just was NOT worth the effort to make, because let’s face it… it is definitely time-consuming.  You can buy good-tasting  lasagna or get it at a restaurant.  But this just may have convinced me that I’ll make it, as this recipe is perfect for doubling so you’ll have another whole delicious pan for later.

Try it… I promise no matter what lasagna you LOVE, this one will impress you!

Lasagna ala Lane

  • 1-14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (We used Muir Glen No-Salt-Added Fire Roasted)
  • 1-15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup chopped onion (we used half a yellow onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • oil
  • 1/2 lb ground chuck beef
  • 1/2 lb regular sausage
  • 1 cup (8oz) sour cream
  • 1/2 lb grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan
  • 7 lasagna strips

In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until lightly browned.  Add the beef and sausage, and cook until browned.

In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes and next 7 ingredients.  Begin simmering uncovered.  Combine meat and sauce mixtures and simmer uncovered for 1 hour on low heat. (You can make ahead and freeze.  Or this would make a delicious spaghetti sauce.)

Cook the lasagna noodles, drain, rinse and separate.  In the bottom of a 2 1/2qt dish (we used a 9×13″ pan, but you could use a square pan as well), criss-cross  layer the noodles.  Top with half the meat sauce, half of the sour cream, 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese, and half the Parmesan cheese.  Repeat one more layer and end with remaining mozzarella cheese on top.

Cover with a tin foil tent and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 20 more minutes to brown the cheese.


Posted in What's Cookin' | 1 Comment »