Happiness Is…Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Latte


Happiness is FRIDAY!  I am actually calling this Friday SUPER FRIDAY because…

Happiness is NINE days at home with my family!  Today is our last day of school until after Thanksgiving.  I have always looked forward to this break.  This year, we have been plagued with many illnesses since the beginning of October, which has had us scrambling to doctor’s appointments, trying to figure out who has the best schedule to take the day off, and missing out on sleep to cuddle sweet, sick babies.  And, to top it all off, our hot water heater went out yesterday, in the midst of still trying to get two of the three littles, one with bronchitis and one with croup, healed in time for Thanksgiving.  However, even through all of that, we have been very lucky because…

Happiness is a sister who lives right next door.  And, true happiness is two nieces who love their beauty products so much that showering in their shower was like a spa experience.

Happiness is a little boy who has gained two years of expressive language development in the one year since we discovered that he has Childhood Apraxia of Speech and put him in private speech therapy.  Ethan is having an amazing year at school, and we are so happy to see him truly shining.


Happiness is a bigger little boy who sang his little heart out at the State Capitol yesterday. And, true happiness is that he was so happy to see us.  I am not sure when/if that will end.  I just keep hoping and praying that we are modeling our family life in such a way that he is always happy to see us, always proud of us, just as we are of him.


Happiness is a little boy who loves his big brother.  I did not even know that Ethan was kissing his brother on the cheek during this picture until I looked through all of the pictures last night.  It made me smile.  It made me very, very happy.


Happiness is a little girl who has been so sick for the past 5 weeks – stomach virus, bronchitis, pink eye, herpangina, and croup – but who still wanted to go to the Capitol to support her biggest brother.  I know.  All of the illnesses sound awful, and they have been. And, I have worried and worried about her immune system because she has always been my healthy one. But, she has also always been at home with me – no day care or preschool. So, apparently, Kindergarten is just the year to start really building up her immune system. Gabriel missed around 20 days of school in Kindergarten, and Ethan missed at least that much when he started the Early Learning Program at the school.  It will get better, and she will have a stronger, healthier immune system in 1st grade.


Happiness is a husband who has taken all of the balancing sick days and work schedules in stride.  He knows that I love working and going to school with my littles, and he values me as a wife, a mom, and as a teacher, too.


Happiness is a yummy, hot drink on a cold fall day.  I am not a coffee drinker.  Instead, I prefer tea. However, when I saw this Pumpkin Spice Latte over on Lori’s blog, I knew that I simply had to try it.  Click here for the recipe.  You will be so happy that you did!


Summer Fun: Have a Harry Potter Marathon and Make Butterbeer


Oh, how we love Harry Potter.


I cannot even begin to count how many times we have watched each of the movies.


And, the final one.  The final one gets me every single time.  I cannot watch it without sobbing.

So, naturally, I had to put “have a Harry Potter marathon” on the summer fun list.

I have been wanting to make Butterbeer for a very long time.  When I discovered that Darla at Bakingdom is a huge Harry Potter fan, as well, and had actually re-created Butterbeer, I was beyond excited.


We began our Harry Potter marathon yesterday with popcorn and Butterbeer.  I know that I keep saying that every day and every event is one of my favorites, but when there is family, Harry Potter, and a yummy drink involved, well, of course, it is always going to top the list of favorite memories.


For the Butterbeer recipe, click here.

Summer Fun: Making Smoothies – Recipe: Lime, Mango, Banana Smoothie


We are trying out different smoothies each week so that we can keep track of them and determine our favorites.

When Gabriel woke up feeling under the weather this week, the one thing that sounded good to him was a smoothie.  His only request was that it have banana in it.

So, I got to work on our latest creation.  We thought that it turned out really good…so good that he requested it the next morning, too.  That is always the definition of a recipe success in my book.

Lime, Mango, Banana Smoothie

Lime, Mango, Banana Smoothie


1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup lime sherbet

1 banana

1 small mango

1 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons sugar or honey (you can easily omit or reduce this)


  1. Add the yogurt and sherbet to the blender.
  2. Add in the banana and mango.
  3. Pour the orange juice over the top.
  4. Sprinkle on the sugar or honey.
  5. Blend until smooth.