Thursday, June 27, 2013

Theme Thursday: Black and White

Linking up with my homie, Cari, for another Theme Thursday!

Today's theme is black and white and so I threw on a black and white filter to the shot of Will at the lake earlier this month....

Here's the original....

I was surprised to find that I liked the black and white a tad bit more than the original color shot. I think it's because the black and white forces you to focus on Will's cute face and fine physique, whereas the color -- while giving an overall feel of summer -- draws your eye to all the bright colors involved. 

In any event, here's a little theme song for today's link up...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five Favorites: For a Rainy Day

It's been crazy rainy and stormy around these parts this past week, so I'm joining with the peppy Hallie and sharing some of my favorite things we've been doing to keep ourselves occupied....

1) Reading! Specifically, I'm digging out some of my old favorites for myself and the kids. What's my favorite?
I have loved this book since I was in high school -- the imagery, the history, the characters. During one of my pregnancies, I had Kyle completely on board with naming the baby Katherine Scarlett, so I could have my very own Katie Scarlett. The little bugger turned out to be a boy, and by the time I was pregnant again, Kyle says he had come to his senses and Katie Scarlett Dempsey was off the Names List. Boo. 

2) Which brings me to my next favorite rainy day activity: classic movies! Want to guess which one is my favorite?
Also on the list are: The Sound of Music, The Quiet Man, The Bells of St. Mary's, and The Trouble with Angels.

3) Netflix currently has quite a few Disney classic cartoons in their lineup right now! I love that my kids are enjoying 



"Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?" is Faith's new favorite song.

4) Summertime Religious Education! Actually, I'm just doing the formal version for Jack and Eamon, but they are really enjoying reading the chapters in the Faith and Life Series (for grades 5 and 2) and working on the corresponding workbooks. Weird Montessori kids that they are, workbooks are a treat for them.
5) And, I'm loving that Dwija has named her sweet baby boy and that we are getting so SO close to being able to give them a real and functional laundry room before she has to go on hospital bed rest. Please keep them in your prayers, whether or not you are able to donate. Prayers are the MOST important!


Rain, rain, GO AWAY! The Dempseys have a graduation party on Saturday!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mystery Ingredient Monday: Jalapeño (and a late Mint!)

Linking up with the talented, gorgeous and creative Anne, Jessica, and Tasha for another round of Mystery Ingredient Monday!

OK, full disclosure: I totally made a mint recipe and photographed it last week and then Blogger decided to be an a$$, and not let me upload my picture. Then, it uploaded the picture, but refused to format at all. Then, it crashed entirely. Blogger, Y U no make an app or mobile site that actually WORKS????

So, I'm going to give you two recipes today and hope that Blogger cooperates (you hear me, people at Blogger?).

First off, I made my kids happy and Kyle very happy by making Shamrock Shakes. Kyle is so devoted to these treats that he refuses to call them Shamrock Shakes, and refers to them only by their original name: MacDougal Shakes. Ever go through a Mickey D's drive-thru with someone who refuses to ask for an item by a name they recognize? I have. Every March. Anyway....

These shakes are super-easy to make and I've spent countless minutes perfecting this recipe.

Dempsey Shamrockers
4 cups of vanilla ice cream
2 cups milk 
2 tsp. Mint extract (make sure it is a combination of BOTH spearmint and peppermint!)
2 tsp. lime juice
1/2-1 tsp. green food coloring

Place all ingredients in blender and...wait for it...blend until thoroughly combined. 

Pour into 4 tall glasses (or beer mugs) and enjoy!

Now for my jalapeño entry....

Killian's 18th birthday was yesterday and he requested this recipe for his birthday dinner. I have some pics of the prep, but none of the actual finished product because my family scarfed it all down too quickly. 

Grilled Chicken with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa
*adapted from a Weight Watchers' recipe
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup lime juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp. olive oil
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped fine
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size pieces
1 avocado, cut into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, chopped 
1 jalapeño, chopped fine (seeds optional)

  • In a small bowl, combine lime juice, pineapple juice, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, oil, cumin and salt; remove 12 tablespoons juice mixture to a zip-top food storage bag (or a glass container with lid). Set bowl with remaining juice mixture aside.

  • Add chicken to bag (or container); seal bag and turn to coat with mixture (or toss in container and then cover). Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to several hours.

  • Meanwhile, to make salsa, add pineapple, avocado and onion to bowl with remaining lime juice mixture; toss gently to coat.

  • Off heat, coat grill rack or stove-top grill pan with cooking spray; heat to medium-high heat.
  • Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Grill chicken until cooked through, flipping once, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.
  • Transfer chicken to plates and top with salsa; season with salt and serve with lime wedges, if desired. Yields 1 chicken breast and about 1/2 cup salsa per serving.

  • Go check out the other recipes!!donate

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Hey everybody!!!

Cari, over at Clan Donaldson, had theeeeee BEST idea! She is holding an online fundraiser to help our very good buddy, Dwija (HouseUnseen), get a working laundry room!

If you haven't been following Dwija's story, here are a couple of examples of what she is going through right now and of how beautifully she deals with the stress and heartache.

I have personally met Dwija and her beautiful family, and if you think you would like her based on her writing, ten you are wrong: you would DEFINITELY LOVE her! She comes across as genuine and loving and beautiful in her posts because that is exactly who she is in real life!

Please, go to Cari's blog and give anything you can to help out the Borobias. I can tell you from experience that the laundry of 5 (and 6 and 7!) kids is overwhelming when you have a working washer and dryer, hot water, and no leaky valves. I really cannot imagine doing it the way Dwija does, and all while she is supposed to be resting to keep Baby Borobia safe. Please, will you help?

Feel free to share this with a lot of people, too!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

7 QTs: Father Knows Best edition

Hampa cheering on Joe at a wrestling meet.
Linking up with  Jen for 7 QTs and with Cari for Theme Thursday...

1) My dad. Or, Da-Doo as I first dubbed him when I was a teeny baby. Or, Hampa as his 10 (soon to be 11, when my nephew is born!) grandkids call him. This guy loves all things spicy and crazy. I'm talking Dave's Insanity Sauce, wild roller coasters, Tim Conway. He also knows every one of his 5 kids' favorite foods, books, movies, and jokes. To top that off, he knows all the same things about his grandkids! Dad is a regular at the local bakery and after his Saturday morning stop there, makes his rounds dropping off the goodies for all the grandkids. Yes, he delivers our Saturday morning doughnuts. Dad is our biggest cheerleader, eternal optimist, best comedian, and fiercest protector. He is the reason I chose such an awesome husband for myself and father for my kids.

2) Kyle. Or, Dad, Daddy, DaDa to our kids. Never a day goes by that this man doesn't make me smile and laugh. Nothing gives him greater joy than spending time with his kids and it plainly shows on his face. He is hugely biased in their favor and will not tolerate anyone (including me!) criticizing them. He's very much a sucker for his Princesses, while still remains a rough-and-tumble "cool guy" for his boys. He is unashamedly devout, sings in Church, and reminds all of us to pray regularly. He is my hero -- in every way.

Joe and his godson and brother

3) My father-in-law. He gave my husband the perfect example Response Error.
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502 Bad Gateway - Response Error, a bad response was received from another proxy server or the destination origin server.of what a good husband should do, and isn't that the very best thing a father can do for his kids: love their mother? He is a brilliant man, who still tries to learn new things of all kinds and I admire that so very much. He is battling a debilitating neurological disease for which there is no treatment, and the humbleness with which he accepts this fact is inspiring. Please keep him in your prayers.
Killian and his goddaughter and sister

4)Godfathers! Mine is long passed away, but I'm sure he prays for me still. Our family prays for our kids' godfathers, 2 of which are my 2 oldest kids! Killian is Faith's godfather and Joe is Will's godfather. In a large family, it is a special way for those older kids to have another connection to the babies of the family. Godfathers everywhere tend to get forgotten after the baptism is over, but their role is huge and we are so grateful for them!

5)  Uncles! All tolled, my kids have 9 uncles: my 2 brothers and Kyle's 7 brothers. They are all equally insane and fun. Isn't that what an uncle should be?!

6) Father-figures. My kids are so blessed to have so many wonderful examples of good manhood in their lives. From the selfless religious education teacher my 3 oldest have had for their Confirmation I class to the many wonderful family friends we have, my kids can easily see the many good and different ways the Father's love is shown to them.

7) Priests! Kyle and I were so lucky to grow up having good priests around. Having a priest over for dinner or a "personalized" baptism or First Communion was the norm for us. My dad's childhood friend is a Colomban Missionary and he performed our wedding, 3 of my siblings' weddings, 2 baptisms, and 4 First Communions for us! My brother's good friend is a priest (a vocations director!) and my brother and his wife attended his ordination. My son Joe is currently in a program geared towards helping high school boys discern a calling to the priesthood. Mothers of priests have a guaranteed place in heaven, right? RIGHT?!? 

Fr. Brendan giving Jack his First Eucharist
So, Happy Father's Day to my dad, to my Kyle, and to all the fathers out there! God bless you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Five Favorites: Summer Vacation Edition

Joining  Hallie for my Five Favorites, Summer Vacation Style!

1) Lazy Mornings. Even if I don't get to sleep in, quite a few of the kids do and that means more quiet, less squabbling. I also love just sitting around in my PJs, sipping coffee, and listening to the classical music station.

2) The Garden. We have a postage stamp-sized backyard, but 2 years ago Kyle and the kids installed a 4'x4' boxed garden for me as a Mother's Day gift. This year, we have strawberries, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, peas, and cucumbers. It doesn't produce enough so that I don't have to buy fruit and veggies at the store, but the delicious food it does give us makes me happy and proud.

3) The Pool. We are lucky enough to live only a few blocks from our village's pool. We are also blessed that it's yearly family membership is incredibly cheap (compared to most pools in our area). Nothing beats a fun-and-sun-filled afternoon at the pool, followed by a slow walk home where air-conditioning, popcorn, movies and naps await us.

These are my girls at the pool in 2011
4) The Lakehouse. Speaking of being blessed... My wonderful husband works extremely hard so that we have a little haven to which we can escape with our kids. While it's a year-round house, the summer is when it really shines! The house sits right on the lake shore and all we have to do is put on our swimsuits, open the deck doors, walk outside and enjoy swimming, boating, grilling, bonfires, and playing all day long. We have no cable, Internet, or landline up there and it forces all of us (even the teens!) to interact with each other. Even rainy days are fun: fishing, board games, card games, fort-building, baking! 

 5)Having my kids all around me. For me, having just a few months of being around my kids in a relaxed setting is sheer joy. Even the kids who work or go to sports camp for a couple of weeks are still around a lot more than they are during the school year. It's a nice re-grouping before the busy pace of school and sports takes over in the Fall. Of course, by mid-August, all of us are yearning for the structure that busy pace provides!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mystery Ingredient Monday: Cherries!

Thanks to Jessica, Anne, and Tasha, I am making my return to blogging after a wee bit of an absence!

These three gorgeous gals are hosting a Chopped-type link-up each Monday. Each Monday, they announce a new secret ingredient and you have until the following Monday to create a yummy dish including this Mystery Ingredient.

Last week, Jessica chose cherries as the MI -- one of my fave fruits!

Because I am a procrastinator extraordinaire, I waited until today (on our drive back from Michigan) to decide what culinary delight I would prepare. And, here it is:

Cherry-Berry Peach Melba 

I poured one bag of Trader Joe's Cherry-Berry frozen fruits into a saucepan, added 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 c. water, 1/3 cup sparkling peach moscato, 2 tbsp. cornstarch and 1/4 c. sugar.

I brought the mixture to boil and reduced to a simmer until it was thicker (still a tad watery, though; you may want to add less water or more cornstarch).

Then, I placed half of a Trader Joe's shortbread on a plate, topped with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream, and drizzled the cherry sauce on top. 

It was seriously delicious. Kyle and the kids said they wanted to make this a weekly summer dessert -- winning!

Go check out Tasha's blog to see what she chose for next week's MI!