Monday, August 15, 2011

Onward and Upward! To Narnia and the North!

Living 2,600 miles away from family is tough...especially when children start having children of their own. Ben talked me into spending two weeks back East with my family in July, which enabled my family to spend 2 weeks with Lilyana. Due to Ben's work schedule, he had to miss out on all of the fun, so Anton was more than happy to pack his bags and travel with me. The girls didn't know he was coming, so it was a big surprise for them! Ahhh, but I'm getting ahead...

As usual, the cameras were whipped out at every opportunity, so I've selected my favorites (just over thirty pictures...that's not too many, is it?) and put them all into one BIG post! Life continues to move along, and I've got to keep up somehow...

The big trip began with a hotel room in the Bay Area. We didn't want to face traffic the next morning and had no plans on missing our flight... We finally made it to our hotel around midnight. Ben dropped us off the next morning and then made the lonely drive back home and to work.

Waiting for our second plane, Lilyana spent some time on the floor stretching, playing with her toys and talking (or babbling) up a storm! She charmed all of the other passengers and we were SO thankful that she was an angel on the fussing a'tall!

Good morning time with Uncle Bubby!!!! Back story: When the kiddos were little, they called Caleb "Bubby" so his nickname is still going!

Woo-hoo!!! Being back East means going to one of my favorite stores! This picture was mostly taken for Ben... *grin*

See! This store has GREAT signs....

Birthday time for James! We celebrated his birthday early and since I had promised Caleb to make this while I was out there, we had Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pie for dessert. Yes, it's insanely rich...

Cuddles with Grandmommy before heading off to bed!

Lilyana's veeeeeery favorite book is "The Duchess Bakes a Cake". It was a favorite book in my family, so my parents bought a copy for Lilyana. We've been reading it to her since she was born, and she is still captivated by the bright illustrations and the soothing sound of people reading the fun rhyming story to her.

Spending quality time with Grandpa...precious moments!

I love bringing new crafts back home to the girls, and this time we made hair clips as party favors for the Ladies Tea.

Aunt Jessica has this thing for frilly dresses... This one belonged to Abby (or was it Grace?) and Jess fell in love with it's in her hopechest waiting to be used. The dress is still a bit big for Lilyana, but Jess HAD to inflict this torture on her... *grin*

Aunt Grace holding the pink frilly thing. Grace is looking forward to playing with Lilyana.

Coffee break at Eli's! The girls found this really fun coffee/tea house near the church so we dropped in to have some drinks.

AH! A rare moment of tummy time! She might have serious objections to being held all of the time come December...

Aunt Jill looking cute as she teaches Lilyana to gamble... *grin* Anton and I taught the family one of our new favorite games.

As foodie people, we spend LOTS of time in the kitchen! It's the best room in the house, right?

So, we like our funky glasses, okay?

Auntie Em rocking the baby to sleep. Both of these girls love to cuddle!

Caleb and Anton made my mom's day when they removed all of the wallpaper on in the powder room and painted it.

Uncle William having the time of his life! He absolutely adores this little girl!

And so does Caleb....

...and so does my dad! *laughing* After bringing the boxes of decor in, protecting his granddaughter was his job for the afternoon.

Aunty Abby loves her little niece. One day they'll be having tea together....

William teaching Lilyana how to make funny faces.


The Grandsisters.

Hey! Look who else made it! Nic and Matthew escorted Mumsie out and surprised the girls again!
Some of us went peach picking with the Bandys and Len, and the rest of us joined them for breakfast...I'll let you guess who did what...

Like I said...we like our funky glasses.

Spending some final moments with the granddaughter before it was time to head out. She'll be much bigger in December.

And so the fun trip came to an end. Our little angel comforted me as we said our teary goodbyes, slept on the loooooooooooong flight home and was tickled pink to see her daddy waiting for us at the airport. Missing my family still hurts, but I am so thankful to be married to my best friend, the love of my life...and to spend each day training my little blessing from heaven. Family is a wonderful gift and I love all three of family, the family I married into, and the family that Ben and I have made.

So life moves on...Upward and Narnia and the North! The homeschool convention, oral surgery and getting back into the swing of things have all taken up my time. But now that I'm back on my feet and feeling mostly normal once more(and can actually EAT again!!!), I'm pleased to announce that we're back to our foodie travels! Hurray! F is for French and it's going to be a goooooooooooood week...or two! *grin* Before I close, though, I thought I'd leave y'all with a few pictures of life back home...

Ben is still reading aloud and this is our morning reading. As you can see, Lilyana enjoys it, too. Right after Ben reads a poem from When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne to Lilyana, Dante's Inferno is our current evening reading since we just finished The Wisdom of Father Brown.

Lilyana gets bigger and more curious every day! She rolled over for the first time yesterday, and she thinks it's great fun...which means that she's a floor baby now! She's also discovered her toes and thinks that they taste reeeeeeeally good.

Lilyana has also loved sitting up since she was really small, so Ben went out and bought her a Bumbo chair. She's had oodles of fun sitting at the table with us and watching the cars go by.

In honour of our return to the Foodie Chronicles, I'm posting a picture of our homemade ice cream. I decided to try my hand at chocolate and got two very big thumbs up from Ben, so I went on to try a mocha ice cream...still tweaking that recipe, though!

If you don't hear from us the rest of this week, just remember that we've got our hands full of French recipes and good family fun. We hope to have a drool worthy post ready for you next week!

Until then,

Tiffany...for BLT


Anthony said...

So many great memories!!! I was thrilled to see your family again! (Thanks for having me along sis!) The kitchen is often the best room in the house. The explanation must be that many fond memories are created in the kitchen.:) By the way, I can still taste the cinnamon rolls, for they were delicious!:) I love the fifth picture.;) I cannot wait for the French food post!!

Anton, Esq. to be

Hec @ 19 said...

Lilyana is a hit wherever she goes. She will no doubt make this trip over and over again.

thector87 said...

We like chocolate ice cream too.


Mrs.Rabe said...

What a great post! Lots going on.

So happy for you and your family that you were able to visit...I am sure there were lots of precious memories made, loved seeing the photos of the family holding her!

Your wee girlie is growing fast! The photo of her in the Bumpo chair is so cute!

God Bless

Anonymous said...

Love seeing all the pictures of Lilyana! Madeline loves eating her toes too. :)

Kelsey H

Anonymous said...


Wow, your homemade ice cream actually looks frozen! Mine always turns out sort of soupy. How did you do it?

Joanna in GA

Simply Tiffany said...


It was so much fun to travel with you! I'm glad you could come keep me company...I hate going places alone! :) My family is a blast...they really enjoyed your visit, too! Mmmmmm....must make cinnamon rolls again..... :)


That she is!!! She got a ton of people turning their heads as we wandered through the airports! She's a cutie pie!!! :)


It's sooooo good! We need to have y'all over one of these days....


It was a wonderful visit. We all had so much fun and each picture that we took has some strange story behind it! *smile* Family is one of God's greatest gifts...

I KNOW!!! She looks bigger every day! :( *sigh* I wish she would stop growing right now... :)


Aren't babies just too fun?!?! I'm sure you're enjoying Madeline just as much as we enjoy Lilyana! Any chance y'all will be heading out this way anytime? *grin*

Hey Joanna,

Thanks! I've been making ice cream at least 2-3 times every week! Have to use the raw milk somehow! *grin* I let mine churn for a looooooong time. Oh, and I keep the container that I plan on storing the finished ice cream in the freezer so that the ice cream doesn't start melting as soon as it gets in there. Oh, and using half cream helps, too. :) Any chance you'll be coming out to CA anytime?!?!? *grin* Love ya! <3

Anonymous said...

Hey, Tiffany! :o)

Haha, you can *never* have too much ice cream!! :o) Have you found any other flavors you really like besides the chocolate? You must have an electric mixer. ;o) We do too, but ours stops automatically when it says the ice cream is done. :oP Does yours come out of the ice cream maker looking like that? Or do you have to put it in the freezer for a while first? Yeah, sorry, I know...lots of questions, but I really want to figure this out! ;o) I'll have to try using half cream next time. :o)

Well, as far as I know, CA isn't on our traveling itinerary at this point. :o( But I sure wish it was!! I'd love to visit with you and meet your sweet new little family!! Maybe someday, right?? :o) We'll definitely have to make ice cream when (I am going to say WHEN, not IF ;o) ) I get out there!! ;o)

Love ya, too!! Have a great weekend!
<3 Joanna

James McDonald said...

Thanks for the post - and the memories. I love you all.


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