Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for October, 2009

Halloween Treats!

30th October 2009

I made some snacks for Analise and Josiah’s classes this week… they were pretty easy and turned out cute!  Of course, no one likes the licorice legs.  For Josiah’s class I used Oreo Cakesters instead of the Hostess Ding Dongs.  I saw the idea originally here.


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Halloween Adventure

30th October 2009

This past Sunday we continued a 5 year long tradition of going to Old Baker’s Farm to get pumpkins, enjoy the civil war reenactments, and the Native American traditional dancing. Kristine drove the kids there after church, and I decided to bike to meet them. Church ran long, and I rode fast making it there before them and then searching to try to find them before borrowing a cell phone to find out that they were still on their way.

We were all hungry so we went straight to the food area, bought a bbq sandwich and bbq baked potato and headed over to the bicycle tractors where Josiah and Analise could sit on little miniature John Deere tractors and pedal around in circles in a small area near the entrance of the farm. After riding Josiah sat down with us and started to eat. There were yellowjackets flying around attracted to the bbq and one eventually landed on Josiah’s nose. Kristine and I both stared at it for the slightest fraction of a second before Josiah swatted at it and we could then see the yellowjacket extend its stinger directly into Josiah’s nose. We swatted it away with the stinger still in his nose, and then Kristine pulled out the stinger. 15 minutes of blood-curtling screaming, one raw onion wiped on his nose, and many tears shed by Analise pleading for Josiah to stop crying, everything suddenly was fine and Josiah was proud/happy to say that it stopped hurting.

We continued on, had a blast, found some pumpkins in the much picked-over end of the season field, and took these pictures below. Enjoy! (Also the two last pictures are from Josiah’s nursery rhyme parade at school and the Clearwater Trunk or Treat event last Sunday)

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Analise’s Excitment for the Evening

27th October 2009


As we were brushing teeth her this evening, Analise said, “My tooth hurts!”  I cringed, thinking how ironic that she could be getting a cavity before Halloween even arrives, and asked her to show me which tooth.  Lo and behold, her front bottom (right) tooth wiggled a lot, and the one next to it wiggled just a bit less!!!!  Loose teeth!?!  She, of course, is Very Very Excited.  I, personally, am reeling a bit from approaching a milestone that for some reason I thought we were pretty far removed from.

This kindergarten year is just blowing my mind.  She seems so tall, so mature, and so articulate.  She’s become a lovely companion on the rare time that we go somewhere one-on-one (like the recent opportunity to see The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at the Alabama Children’s Theatre).  I love listening to her learn to read, spell things, sound out words and write sentences.  I’m amazed at how quickly this new realm of communication is coming together for her.  She is forever stapling papers together, drawing pictures and creating books, for which we often write out the story (though I’m sure we won’t need to do that for much longer!).

Each morning as I drop her off at school, I glance over my shoulder and see her loading her backpack onto  her shoulder and walking so independently into school.  She loves school, but walking in she has the tiniest bit of hesitation and nervousness, and it always tugs at my heart.  But when Josiah and I walk over to pick her up, she bounces out, looking around for her 3rd grade friend who walks home with us, while her kindergarten classmate from the next street over waits for shyly for Analise (it’s a cute little friendship triangle).  She’s full of stories and tidbits from the day, anxious to show me the newest book she’s brought home and read through her weekly sight words.

Not tonight or tomorrow or even the next day as she desperately hopes, but before I know it, there will be a big gap (thankfully in the bottom!) of her beautiful smile, and we’ll step past another milestone leaving babyhood behind.

(She asked Brian what the tooth fairy left him, and silly daddy said a bicycle!  Thankfully, she was just as excited to hear that he’d gotten a shiny quarter…)

(One last thing… if you haven’t noticed the new feature in the photo header, click through to enjoy the site firsthand.  The six photos at the top now randomly rotate when you refresh the page.  And you can click on each photo to go to the post that it originally was published in.  Of course, it’s heavy on the baby pictures, because we used to post every cute picture that we took, and there were a lot of them!  I could sit and refresh the page for an hour to enjoy the photo memories!  Hope you like it too!

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What’s Cookin’… Pizza Bites!

14th October 2009

Ok, who doesn’t like Totino’s Pizza Rolls?  They’re so yummy.  And the perfect quick kid dinner.  But dang, they’re expensive!  And there are never coupons for them, so that means that I don’t have them in my freezer very often. And the kids are always requesting them.  So I decided to do a quick online search to see if anyone had a recipe for an equivalent.  I stumbled across this amazing blog, Chaos in the Kitchen and her Pizza Bites recipe.  I made them last night, and they were AWESOME and super easy!  Analise even ate 4, and said, “Mommy, these are so, so so yummy!”  Those words make a momma’s night!

I like homemade pizza dough, but couldn’t swing it last night.  So I used fresh pizza dough from the deli of  supermarket, and it was easy to work with.  I made one square pan of about 28 bites, and baked them all up.  I tossed the extras into the freezer for quick microwaving.   Seriously… you’ve got to try these!!

She’s also got a yummy looking recipe for homemade Bagel Bites.  I’ll have to try them next!

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Josiah’s Minor Medical Saga Continues

13th October 2009

Josiah had yet another follow-up visit at Children’s South with his pediatric urologist today for his annual tests to track his vesico-urethral reflux (VUR).  All my good info links (and a cute baby Josiah pic!) are on the original post from when he was just a couple months old.  Short story – urine from his bladder backs up his urethra to his kidneys, which can could cause kidney damage.  Amazingly it was diagnosed before he ever had an infection, and he’s been infection-free thanks to prophylactic daily antibiotics since he was a baby.  We do have to get every fever over 101.5 checked out with a doctor, but he’s been SUPER healthy for the past year.

The tests seem more difficult now that he’s older and can understand and fight against them somewhat.  It’s surely hard for this mother’s heart!  I can’t even imagine how other parents manage chronic illnesses with their children.  Anyway, we’ve done this each year since he was a baby, so we’ve come to know how it goes.  Funny moment at the end of the VCUG test… they have to fill his bladder with contrast dye through a catheter (that was the hard part), and then they take xrays to get pictures of the bladder/ureters/kidneys.  After the pics are done, he has to pee out all the contrast media, under the xray machine so they know that it’s all out.   So we finally convinced him to pee, and he peed and peed and peed (into a towel).  “That’s a wotta pee!” he said,  exactly what we were thinking!  His little iron bladder had held an entire bottle of contrast liquid, and so it was one seriously long pee to empty his bladder!

After the VCUG and ultrasound, we met with the doctor.  His reflux has improved from grade 3/4 to grade 2.  It looks like he’s slowly outgrowing this problem.  We’ll continue with the antibiotics, pray he continues to stay infection free, have one LAST VCUG test next year (hooray!!!), follow his kidneys on ultrasound 2x a year, and hopefully be done with antibiotics at age 5.   That’s the plan anyway…

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My cup overflows

10th October 2009

This quiet Saturday had one of those unassuming moments I wish I could bottle up and keep close to my heart to remind me of everything that’s most precious to me. Brian was playing worship songs on his guitar, Analise was singing, dancing and wearing a feather boa and a tiara, placing a princess tiara on Brian’s head, and Josiah was singing and bouncing on his hopper ball. I was reminded of 8 1/2 years ago as he proposed to me with his guitar, singing my favorite Bebo Norman song, just the two of us under a sunset sky on the edge of Lake Hartwell in Clemson, SC. We’d never have imagined this moment in all it’s sweet quirky details!

Brian was singing an old worship song (from a CD called The Burn Service) called “Surely Goodness and Mercy” with the words of Psalm 23.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

The song says, “My cup, it overflows… with love, peace and joy.”  That line just summed it up.  The beauty of being here with my family, seeing them dance, laugh, sing, bounce, make music… my cup, indeed, overflows.

Brian continued with another favorite song of his to play from Psalm 36, “Your Love Reaches Me”.  I realized as we sang the chorus how true it is…

O Lord, how priceless is your unfailing love!

It was glorious.  Simply glorious to sing those words and revel in their truth in the middle of the bouncing, dancing, twirling, sweetness of this evening.

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Video and more glimpses of the Boosterthon Fun Run…

9th October 2009

What a fun, fun day! Rocky Ridge Elementary’s Boosterthon Fun Run was a fantastic event for kids and family to be involved in. I was so proud of my sweet Analise! They’d come through the start line, stop to get a mark on their shirt for each lap, and then she would take off running again, even when most kids were walking. On the little Boosterthon “Speedway” (1/16th of a mile), her 33 laps were more than 2 miles of running… and all with a smile on her face!  And I’m so thankful for all our family who generously supported her.  This was one of my favorite school fundraising events!

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One seriously Fun Run!

9th October 2009

We just got back from Analise’s Boosterthon Fun Run. What an event! She was SERIOUS about running… while some of her classmates ran around 25, Analise ran 34 laps! I’m so proud of her! Enjoy these iPhone pics!

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Go Twins… And go Analise!

9th October 2009

Today’s a big day! The Minnesota Twins are playing the Yankees in the game 2 of the playoffs… Woohoo! AND today Analise is running in the Boosterthon Fun Run at her school, their main fundraiser for the year. She’s done a great job of calling people and asking them to pledge for the laps she’s going to run. She’s had a blast making the phone calls herself and reaching different incentive levels. We so appreciate all who have supported her.

So she’s decked out in her Minnesota Twins shirt for running. Josiah, Grandma, Grandpa and I are going to cheer her on. Look for more pics!

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What’s Cookin’… Apple Bread

7th October 2009

This recipe is AMAZING.  Last year, I probably made it 10 times in the fall.  I even made mini loaves to give to kids teachers at church for Christmas, wrapped them (the mini loaves… not my kids :)) in a dish towel, and tied it up with a single serving Tastefully Simple Oh My Chai drink mix (feel free to order or email me directly!).


Anita’s Amazing Apple Bread

  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 c oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 2 c shredded apples
  • 3 c AP flour
  • 1 t baking soda


  • 2T butter, melted
  • 1/2 c sugar, 1 t cinnamon, 1/4t nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans (or 3 mini pans per loaf). In a large bowl, mix sour cream, sugar, oil, eggs, spices and apples. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and the baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir only until moist. Divide evenly between the two pans.

Pour butter over batter in pans, dividing evenly. Sprinkle with sugar mixture.

Bake 50-60min or until a tester inserted in middle comes out clean.

**My notes… I’ve never shredded the apples, just very diced them finely.  I’ve also “healthified” this… light sour cream, 1 c. brown sugar/1 c white, 3/4c applesauce in place of oil, egg substitute, half white whole wheat flour (King Arthur White Whole Wheat is the BEST!).  I also added 1/4c toasted oat bran to the topping.  Works great!

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