Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin roll!

Reposting this because it's sooo good this time of year and I"m craving it...think I'll make it this week and freeze one for having on hand for company or another craving!! haha

Pumpkin Roll

1/4 powdered sugar for rolling

3/4 C. flour

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. Cinnamon

1/2 t. cloves

1/4 t. salt

3 large eggs

1 C. sugar

2/3 C. Libby's 100% pure pumpkin (small sized can)

1 C. chopped nuts (opt'l)

For cake: Preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheet (approx. 12 x 19") with waxed paper or parchment paper. Spray lightly with Pam.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in separate bowl and use a fork or whisk to stir it together.

Beat eggs and sugar in large mixing bowl until thick (I use kitchen aid). Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture slowly.

Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cake springs back when touched. Recipe calls for sprinkling a clean towel with powdered sugar but I used a long sheet of waxed paper, a bit longer than your baking sheet with 1/4 C. powd. sugar.

Remove cake from oven and immediately loosen sides of cake and turn out onto sugared waxed paper (carefully). Peal off waxed paper that cake baked on. Starting with narrow end, roll cake and waxed paper together. Cool on wire rack.


1 pkg. Cream cheese softened

1 C. powdered sugar

6 T. butter or margarine, softened

1 t. vanilla

Beat these ingredients together until creamy, adding vanilla last. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture on the smooth side of cake (the nut side is the outside of the cake roll) all the way to the edges. Re roll cake and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hr. Place cake roll on serving platter or plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and serve!

Make 10 servings and is DELICIOUS for a morning snack! haha

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Summer's end....

Well Summer is ending...and I haven't kept my blog up very well this Summer...I like to do it for my own memories but we've been having so much fun this Summer!! The biggest surprise for me was Mike giving me tickets to a Tony Bennett concert! My mom always said I was an old soul when it comes to music!! and I am...he's one of my favorite singers and it was an absolute treat to see him live!! It was just about an hour away at an old theatre that is so fantastic to look at...The Fox theatre....He was amazing and despite his age he can still crank out the hits, wow!! I loved every minute of it!! Cross that off my bucket list!! The best story that goes with this gig was right after I opened the tickets I was so excited so I texted my sweet friend Leanne and told her and she wrote back and said....THAT'S SO GREAT!! I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU...who is Tony Bennett!!???? hahahaha love her!

Mike has been getting healthy this Summer...I'm so proud of him! he's lost almost 20 lbs. He did a 24 day challenge (see here for more info ) with a product we love and he started walking on the treadmill every other day and he does Jillian Michael's circuit training DVD every other day he doesn't walk. He began to run part of his walking time and at Family camp this Summer he ran the 5K they do there as well as a midnight run locally (which was actually at 9 p.m. but it was dark!) he did a great job and we were so our family camp Grace ran/walked it and Jordan walked it to since he was on a running restriction! it was fun!

Family camp as always, was a blast! it's so spiritually refreshing to hear people who love and serve the Lord speak about that...teach how to do that better and singing in that great big tabernacle with the outdoors wafting in...incredible! my kids LOVE going to camp...the older ones get great spiritual challenges for their age groups and Grace has a ball learning about God's word from a couple that comes to camp each year and they have the most fun and crazy ways to teach the kids about God's love!! LOVE IT! Here's Jordan telling Grace was a great job she did in the race!! love this!! a snippet of "sibling love!" :)

Somehow...this sweet baby boy of mine grew up to be a Senior in high school! how this happened so fast I'll never know did! He has enough credits in high school so he was fortunate enough to get FREE tuition to our local community college...we just had to pay for books! he is LOVING it there and I'm thankful since he will also attend there his first year out of high school! (whew we don't have to send him off to college just yet....) He worked hard all Summer for our cousin and his pool business, he liked working alot but he realized a "taste" of the working world takes up your free time! haha he's a hard worker and we're proud of him! He is running Cross Country this Fall thankfully, after a running injury over the Summer. He did Physical Therapy over the Summer and is back in the races now thankfully!

We had a friend take Jordan's Sr. pictures...he's such an outdoor kid that we wanted outdoor photos of him. We did some at the beach that were great and some at his high school. This was one I loved of him on the track...I can see that toddler face still, asking me if he can watch Toy Story again for the 3rd. time that week!! Oh how the time does go!! He loves the Lord, he strives to serve Jesus and we couldn't ask for better than that! He is has a strong will (see I knew when he had that at a young age and drove me crazy it would be a strength one day hahaha) and has strong ideas about what he wants to do in life as a young adult....

This I love....we haven't had a family photo in so long...I love was part of the Sr. photo shoot...we're grateful for our sweet friend taking the photos and doing such a beautiful job!! We're back to school now and I'm SOOO tired! haha I fell asleep Thursday night at 8:40....I'll get back into the swing of things!

I clean two houses, one every two weeks, one every three weeks so that will start next week. I help set up at our Ladies Bible Study, help teach on Weds. night 1-5ht gr. at church and I love getting my own kids where they need to be...It's a tiresome job at times but I wouldn't trade it for anything!!! HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!! it's almost here!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The family goes to Washington!

We just got back last week from a great trip to Washington D.C. Our kids have never been and Mike and I haven't been since we were first married! It was one of our greatest vacations! We saw SO much...yet there's still so much more we could have seen! We were surprised how large the White House was...and I was surprised how close to "downtown" it was just up the block to a store that sold souvenirs of the White House..that was very strange to me...Somehow I thought it would be much more secluded and private! It is set far back from the street...yet somehow still so visable to the public! My girls both said they wondered if the President's girls secretly look out and watch people and wish they could go bike riding or to the park!

We had a fantastic tour of the Capital building...We set it up through our local office and had a wonderful tour by a college intern! We learned so much (I"ll admit..I wasn't looking real forward to this tour but Mike was and it was great!) We got lucky and at the end of the tour when we went back to the office our State Rep. walked in the door and we had a great photo opp!! I was in awe of the art work and the gorgeous pieces of art and fixtures and marble work and paintings and statues the Capital had! We sat in and listened to people approaching the "floor" in hopes that the President will hear about their proposals! We heard great history of previous Presidents, we saw where Presidents are laid out when they die for viewing...we walked underground tunnels to get to the Capital from across the street at the State Rep's was amazing and we would highly recommend this tour!

This is the one thing that made me so emotional...The wall that holds the names of fallen soldiers in Vietnam..My dad was in Vietnam and I stood there so thankful I wasn't reading his name on that wall! I discretely watched people with a map of sorts discover where, perhaps a loved ones name was and I watched a lady hold her hand on the wall and softly cry "oh daddy"..Did she every know her daddy? was her mother expecting her when he died? was she a toddler? did she remember him....and it still meant so much to her as an adult...I stood frozen ...thinking how unimaginable that would be......and then I was overwhelmed at the magnitude of names and the grief this must have caused......What a beautiful way to honor these men! I was struck at the silence and the quiet hush over this area of the park ...There were maybe 100 people walking but all you could hear was the soft spoken tour guide explaining the wall and how to find names and I smiled watching my own children being instinctively quiet and thought-filled.

and I am Miss Julia Child myself!! haha This was at the Smithsonian of American History...Yes I realize many of you will find it quirky that the ONE photo I post is about...COOKING! haha There were amazing things to see there, some sad, some old, some new...There was an amazing display of the dresses all the first ladies wore for the inaugural ball...Accept for Mrs. Ford, since her husband was made Vice President when President Nixon left she "chose" her favorite gown to be on display..they were all gorgeous! Mrs. Obama's dress was stunning..all white with little crystals and her jewelery was amazing!! Even their shoes were displayed....Mrs. Lincolns waste on her gown was so small I couldn't imagine what she looked like!! That was a great display. There was a moving display during the Civil War times.....Many many many more....I loved the little "fun" ones...The Ruby Slippers from Wizard of Oz, Fonzie's leather jacket, Archie Bunker's Chair, Michael Jackson's hat....and of course: JULIA CHILD'S KITCHEN! I love the movie Julie and Julia so to see this kitchen was a treat!! She was ahead of her time on organizing and having gadgets!!

We also went to Arlington Cemetery.....We only made it half way because it was 99* out and 100% humidity and many hills to walk! But I was amazed again at the quietness and respect of those visiting! We saw where John F. Kennedy was buried and the eternal flame at the base of his burial place...When I saw all those little white gravestones I was so taken aback... I couldn't believe how many and how young the soldiers were when you read their dates of birth and passing! The grounds were stunning and tied in so well with the reverence that was just naturally there as you walked along the grave sights.....It's amazing to me that they took such care to honor these soldiers in such a beautiful and serene place!

It was a great that kept us thinking and remembering almost daily since about some part of it! My kids learned so much and so did I!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer lovin....

School is out and we're lovin it already!! The weather has been very rainy this week though so we're missing being in the pool but we needed rain (maybe not this much at once! poor farmers!) We had piano recital a few weekends ago and as always I was a proud mama....Makes me so glad that Mike's mom gave us the love for piano music and all three of our kids play...Jordan has played since he was in First Grade and will be a Sr. next Fall....I love watching him at the piano..I think his playing is a stress reliever to him sometimes! The piece he played at the recital was HARD and he worked since last September on it...he did great! The girls did great as well!

Father's day it was gorgeous outside so we had a pizza party outdoors and some people went swimming!! Here's my hubby.... THEEE best daddy to our three kiddos I could ever ask for!! He had a nice day of being celebrated....Thankful for him and the great daddy that he is!!

I dropped this gal off to church camp for the week last Monday...I'll be picking her up tomorrow morning and knowing her she will talk a million miles an hour to fill me in on all the GREAT stuff she did all week! She was learning more about lovin Jesus too so I always love that!! This camp is a super fun time and you have to have completed 3rd. grade to go...this is Grace's 2nd. yr. to go and it was Macy's first year not being able to go (I think Grace was sorta glad about that!! haha) I miss her..things are quiet with just a 17 & 13 yr. old home!! Grace usually keeps us in stitches so I look forward to her stories!! AND I JUST KNOW she hasn't brushed her hair all week...she hates brushing it!! haha I keep my expectations low!

This guy is working lots of hours at the Pool shop testing people's pool water and lots of other stuff, and then after work he goes out with our cousin to install pool liners or do pool openings! We never see him before 10 p.m. and so it was great to spend all day Sunday with him for Father's day...He treated Mike to a movie that night and they had a great time!! He's growing up and we miss him but we know it's just the beginning of his Independence! He's a great kid and we're so proud of him! he works hard and we love him so much!!! And this girl below was soooo happy 7th grade ended!! she is a SUMMER LOVER mainly for the late nights and late mornings!! We enjoy staying up late watching The Waltons and she reads reads reads....she has already read 2 FULL Chapter books this week alone...We had a great shopping trip yesterday while Grace was gone and it was so fun watching her pick things out and primp and choose jewelry etc. She is such a sweetie and so into "clothes" and the like right now....Her hair is always "just so" and it reminds me so much of myself at her age and I often think of my parents and the rolling of the eyes at the crazy outfits I came up with! SO we are just enjoyin the Summer already....I LOVE LOVE LOVE the late nights especially, reading leisurely by the pool and grillin up a hot dog for lunch...ENJOY your Summer all!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Birthday and Summer temps!!

Well....we've had a full and fun May and part of June!!! On May 11th. I had my Birthday and as asked for I got a super long Gold Finch feeder and 12 lbs. of seed!! The Goldfinches are so cute to watch...the seed is a tiny little black seed and the devour it! we are noticing as it gets hotter out that they don't come as often, perhaps because they are finding real food in nature one of my friends suggested! We always have fun at our family Birthday parties and laughter rings through out!!

It's also our Anniversary in May...this year 22 yrs. of wedded bliss!!! My standing "JOKE"....."It's been the best 10 yrs. of my life!" haha Really though, I am blessed beyond any life I could have imagined for myself!! and Mike surprised me with: TICKETS TO A TONY BENNETT CONCERT IN AUGUST!!! My mom always describes me as an old soul, since I love old music and Tony is at the top of the charts for me!!! He does not do concerts in the North very often and as a matter of fact he hasn't been in this area for a decade or more so I'm very very very excited....Macy and I already discuss what I'll wear...something black and with sequins she says since I'm in row 15 main floor!!! can't wait!!!

This precious boy turned 17 this May!! He continues to be the joy of my life!! my "boy" only boy!! He got a real job this yr. at a Pool shop and he also helps open pools after store hours...He is a hard worker (he started working for my dad doing lawns years ago and that work ethic paid off!) We MISS him when he's gone working so often...he is busy with track conditioning and just teenage "stuff!" I suppose this is to prepare him for real life...when he doesn't live with his mama and daddy anymore....but I'll think about that another day and take the days I get!! We are able to sneak off to a local Cafe' sometimes and he LOVES it there so I can always talk him into it!! He's a delight to talk to one on one and he is so funny!!! He will be a Senior in the the time has flown and we are so proud of the turn out!!

This little dolly, Macy turned 13 last week! It's been her dream to have a surprise party all her life and so some of her friends had that idea...So we hosted it at our house and MAN OH MAN WAS SHE SURPRISED..I haven't download the photos from her reaction yet (of course we had to switch out memory cards during the party! ha) She had a blast that night with a few friends spending the night! We had a family party separately and she got so many cute things...A monogrammed bag we got her with the word: BABYSITTER on it! She will begin her babysitting career this Summer ...she is anxiously awaiting that first call for a sitter! haha We got her an IPOD and she's had it stuck to her ears since the minute she got it....We bought it from a friend whose daughter wanted to upgrade hers so it was loaded with tons of great music...she LOVES it!! She is a delight and I envy her sweet spirit!!! She makeup on the morning of her Birthday...I was hesitant because...Macy isn't so fast on getting ready in the morning so I knew it would add to the "time" but she's been fine and looks very natural thankfully!

We're enjoying Summer temps and the pool and bike riding! We tried a bike trail about 15 miles from here and it was a hot hot day but fun.....there's a cool wood bridge to bike over (which I have to say...for Macy and I was kind of high and it was a little daunting to ride over the long bridge on a bike without feeling a bit whoozy but we did it...well Macy WALKED her bike! ha) We love being outside, grilling burgers, making s'mores on the grill, swimming of course and just hanging out!! School is soon out and we are READY to relax!!!! Hope you all enjoy a wonderful Summer!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Black Forest Cake (This was a recipe that Mike's Grandma made all the time and we love it! This is one of my go to cakes when I make one to take to someone for funeral, celebrations etc! It's so easy and yummy!

1 Box chocolate cake of your choice(OR a Cherry Chip or Strawberry cake)

3 Large eggs

1 Can Cherry Pie filling

Beat eggs, add to cake mix and then add can of cherry pie filling and stir. You can make this in a 9x13 but the layered cakes are so pretty! Divide batter into 2-8" cake pans ( A great trick I learned from the Queen of cooking Miss Paula Dean...use a ladle to do this so you can get even amounts in each pan and even cakes. Also spray your pans well and place a square of parchment paper in the bottom and spray that if you have it, if you don't spraying works!)

Bake 35-40 mins. until toothpick comes out clean. Cool a few mins. and invert.

Frost with 1 1/2 cans Chocolate icing (if you use 1/2 of a 2nd. can then you have it in the fridge next time you need another 1/2! ha I just don't think they put enough icing in those cans anymore especially for a layer cake!) and I like to doll up the top! You could sprinkle it with powdered sugar after the icing sets up, or sprinkle the soft icing with any kind of sprinkles, chocolate chips, nuts of any kind but this time I had some beautiful strawberries so I melted a few Tbs. of Chocolate chips and a bit of Crisco in the microwave and dipped those berries and set them on a plate with wax paper and popped them in the freezer! YUUUUMMM!

This baby boy is turning 17 today!! amazing how time has flown....We've spent this year watching him run Cross Country and Track, do alot in his leadership group at school, he loves his Youth group at church and enjoys discipling younger kids, he got his first "real" job including paycheck this Spring, we made a college visit and I think he's decided on that too....Crazy to be doing all this stuff with him when just yesterday we were watching Toy Story 3 and he was singing along with Buzz and Woody! boo hoo....He is a wonderful young man and we couldn't be more proud...I'm so sad he will leave home before we know it but I guess this is why we raised him, to go out into the world and do his thing...and he does a pretty great job!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Busy with fun....

Well I haven't blogged in a few weeks...I've been too busy having fun!!! We have enjoyed having Spring finally feeling and sounding like Spring around here! We've enjoyed tulips popping up, and the gold finches coming out, and ducks basking in the sun....
We've enjoyed tea parties!! A gal at our church throws a tea for two for mom's and their daughters 1st-5th. grade! So Grace and I went! I've gone in the past with Macy and with Macy and Grace together but this year Macy was a helper in the little ladies boutique....where the little ladies can get their nails done and make up and pick feather boas and fake jewels and fans to wear during the tea!! So much fun!

Here are the girls and I! It was a cold day so we were still wearing out sweaters! The host had three kinds of tea, finger sandwiches and many tasty mini dessert treats! She tells the story of how afternoon tea began.......way back in the day a "fine lady" decided that waiting between lunch and dinner was too long....they ate lunch and then did not eat their evening ten course meal until sometimes 7 or 8:00! So she asked her cook to make her tea and some small sandwiches and treats...soon the Queen began the same and it became tradition! A "high tea" is served with dessert after the evening meal! You don't want to confuse the two! It was a lovely afternoon for the girls and I and I won a door prize with a beautiful set of plates and place mats and TEAS of course! My favorite new tea was Cinnamon Plum! mmm

Mother's was nice and sunny outside and here came my "baby" jumping into my arms and I savored every moment since she's 10 and won't fit in my arms like this much longer!!! What a blessed mom I am of three fabulous kiddos that are the light of my life!!

Not to forget the great daddy who shares in this fun adventure of raising these little ducklings with me! He goes all out to make it special for me all the time!! I love that our Forsythia bushes are in bloom!! a true sign warmth is coming!!

And MY BIRTHDAY.....I am getting to the point where I can remember how old I am turning now on each Birthday! After 40 perhaps you lose count...which is ok, why does it matter? ha My Birthday goes on and on...on the day of my Birthday it was our Weds. night church service so Mike and the kids grilled steak and made a yummy dinner...Then the day after we had a family party! Here I am with aunt Roz's famous lemon cake with homemade Lemon Butter cream icing! OH HONEY! my fav!! that's aunt Roz to the left!! mmm mmm We had a great time! I got an E Reader from my parents! a total surprise, and a long 4 ft. Gold finch feeder I've wanted badly from Mike and the kids with seeds and all! I asked for a real Kick Ball because I love to play kick ball and we play with a soccer ball which hurts my toes!! haha A few gifts of money I'll use to buy flowers to plant soon and gift card, an adorable apron from a good friend, books...lots of cutie little stuff!

I am a blessed lady and May is a month full of celebrating for me! Mother's day, my Birthday and my Anniversary which is next week...22 years of wedded bliss to my honey!!

I hope you're all having a fabulous Spring!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Apricot chicken and noodles

I am a huge fan of Apricot flavored foods so this chicken dish was so good over noodles!

4-5 boneless chicken breasts

Olive Oil

1 ts. garlic, minced



1 18 oz Jar Apricot Jam/preserves

Serve over No Yolks or Whole Wheat Egg noodles

Heat 2 Tb. Olive oil in a large skillet (I use an Electric skillet so it fits all of it but if you don't have one that large cook the chicken in batches. Salt and Pepper chicken and saute' in Olive Oil (add more oil if you do this in batches) until browned and put lid on pan for 10 mins. on med/low heat. Remove chicken to a plate and add 1 ts. garlic to hot pan and stir about 1 minute. Add 1/2 C. hot water to pan and turn heat to low....After chicken has sat for at least 5 minutes cut into large chunks and add back to pan. Spoon 1/2 a jar of Apricot jam into pan and let simmer on low for 5 minutes until thick and bubbly. Serve over Noodles or Rice! This would be great with red peppers in it but I didn't have any one hand, you can saute' the red pepper after your remove the chicken for a few mins. and then add garlic and proceed as the recipe says.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011 and food!

We had a wonderful Easter again this year! We colored eggs, and did baskets but most important we celebrated the TRUE meaning of Easter! Jesus dying and rising again!!! HE IS RISEN!!! My kids will never be too old to get Easter baskets and I still hide them and they still look! Here are the girls checking out what's in their basket! Jordan was slower on the go Easter morning...he isn't as enthusiastic about finding his basket as he gets older! ha

Jordan did help me make chocolate bird's nest cookies! I'll share the recipe below! they are such a yummy treat and so cute for Easter/Spring!

I should have not made them for Easter though...we had TOO much food and too much dessert to really enjoy them! haha We ended up with EIGHT Chocolate bunnies!! It makes me cringe that I know they are in this house....they call to me all day!! and sad to say I've downed one whole Crispy bunny since Sunday!!! oh well.....perhaps it's out of my system! (yeah right!)

We bought a Tie Dye egg coloring kit this year! it was fun and made really cool looking eggs! I always love to crack the eggs open for devilled eggs or egg salad and see the colors that leaked through the cracks making a cool pattern on that bright white egg! Jordan didn't join in the fun this year.....I can picture him in college in a few years WISHING to come home and color eggs with his I can wait him out!

Easter Sunday I cooked for 13!! my mom and Mike's aunt helped bring food! as always it was all delicious and we had lots of fun! The sun was shining so it made a nice day for all of us! It's a blessing to all of us to have grandparents join. My Grandma has a tougher time getting out easily so we missed her this year but Mike's Grandpa was able to join us and he was in great spirits Easter Sunday! We were laughing at him getting into the Easter Candy! I suppose once a sweet tooth always a sweet tooth! He's thin so he can afford it! We played some games including "Headbands" it's alot of fun so he was a good sport and played along!!

We treasure our family times together and the laughter we all share rings in mind for days after!! Hope you all had a great Easter!!

Birds nest cookie:

1 bag Chinese crunchy noodles (these are the cracker type noodles, they are crispy and you usually put them over chow mien)

1 bag chocolate chips OR butterscotch chips

1 ts. Crisco

1/2 C. mini M & M's

Place waxed paper on to two baking sheets. Pour Mini M & M's into a bowl. Melt chips and Crisco in a glass dish in the microwave until melted. Stirring every 25 seconds until completely melted. Pour 3/4 bag noodles into a large bowl and pour chocolate over that and stir until coated. Spoon by Tbls. on to baking sheets to form nests and put 3-4 M & M's into center of nest. Chill in refrigerator or on the counter overnight!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Good words....

from Jesus Calling(devotional) I am training you in steadiness. Too many things interrupt your awareness of Me. I know that you live in a world of sight and sound, but you must not be a slave to those stimuli. Awareness of Me can continue in all circumstances, no matter what happens. This is the steadiness I desire for you. Don't let unexpected events throw you off course. Rather, respond calmly and confidently, remembering that I am with you. As soon as something grabs your attention, talk with Me about it. Thus I share your joys and your problems; I help you cope with whatever is before you. This is how I live in you an work through you. This is the way of Peace. Psalm 112:7; Isaiah 41:10

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Crispy Oatmeal Raisin cookies...

These were SO good! I'll make them over and over I think....I love an oatmeal cookie that is crisp and stays that way the next day! (I love the Quaker recipe too for Vanishing Oatmeal cookies when I'm in the mood for a soft cookie too)

Crisp Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 C. shortening

1/2 C. butter (1 stick)

1 C. packed brown sugar

1 C. white sugar

2 eggs

1 ts. vanilla

2 C. flour

1 ts. baking powder

1 ts. baking soda

1 ts. salt

1 1/2 C. rolled oats

1 C. Raisins

Nuts Optional

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Grease cookies sheets.

2. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, butter and sugars. Mix in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into batter until well blended. Mix in the oats, and raisins until well distributed. Scoop with med. cookie scoop or

1 1/2" rounds and place on baking sheet 2" apart. Press dough with a fork to flatten cookie (this makes a bigger cookie!)

3. Bake for 12 mins. or until edges are browned.

Makes almost 4 1/2 dozen.

You could add chocolate chips, chocolate covered raisins, nuts, M & M's, coconut ......dried cherries...the combinations could be endless!! enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring break....

We just had Spring break last week and it was one of the best we've ever had....We didn't go anywhere warm and it was plenty cold here during it! but the sun was out alot! The best part were the late nights and LATE mornings! Very restful! One of the days we went to the Henry Ford Museum. My kids and Mike have been on several field trips there but we haven't been in ages as a a matter of fact I think I haven't been since I was a child. There's also a Village there but it won't open for another week or so! Check it out here if you are interested...we found that buying a family membership was the best route to take since it's good for a year!

The railroad was a cool exhibit and I LOVED this stage/train...I could just picture Ma and Pa Ingles riding on to visit Mary and Adam in Sleepy Eye!! can you imagine how bumpy and dusty it would have been.......however, it would have been so exciting for those mama's and daddies that yearned to visit their children and have a means of faster travel! I can't even fathom those big fat dresses they wore and the bustles....imagine that in summer! yikes!

The flying exhibit was very neat!! When you see some of those early planes you just can't imagine anyone would fly in them safely! Some with no enclosed pilot seats...I don't know how they didn't get sucked right out!! Amazing to see how far we've come with flight (and yet...I still do not like to fly! haha) We read an interesting tid bit that Amelia Earhart sold her piano to buy flying lessons as a young woman! pretty amazing....

We met our good friends Dan and Leanne and four of their kids there. That was the highlight for my girls!! haha and ME! Leanne and I had fun watching our little Cherubs walk around filling their minds with great history and interesting facts! I loved her commenting on Grace walking around with a notebook writing down facts...she said "Grace is every homeschooling mom's dream writing this stuff down!" haha Grace enjoyed that alot and there was a rubbing drawing you could make at each exhibit so she did them in her notebook!

Here we are about half way through...watching some of our kids cranking a power source that lit up the harder you cranked. Macy and Lydia were wore out from cranking! haha We were in the big engine section....amazing how some of those old machines ran on those gigantic engines!

I took a picture of a bus that was there but I can only add a limited amout of photos here. We sat on the bus that Rosa Parks sat on when she was taken off and arrested. I was so moved hearing her story.....The tour guide was explaining that actually she was seated in the black seating section but a white person came on and the bus driver asked her to move and she stood her ground. She was 42 years old.....I am 42 years old...could I be that couragious? I hope made my heart ache as the guide told us how the black people had to pay their dime up front and go to the back door of the bus to get in and sometimes the bus driver would take their money and drive away when they got out to go to the back door.

During the time the guide was talking to us a high school aged group of kids got on the bus and there were many African American kids in the group and I just watched their faces as they listened to a recording about this time in history and I prayed they would have courage, that they would be seen as equals ......I said to my kids after that and after we saw some exhibits about slavery "it's awful to think God created people and somewhere along the way someone decided one group of people was less important than other"! how did that happen! I pray things are greatly changed today!!!

Here we are .....the two original Oscar Mayer Wieners!!! hahaha OK some facts about the Wiener Mobile was created as the first commercial vehicle to premiere a product on the streets! It was in many parades through the years and you should have seen all the Oscar Mayer Wiener stuff you could buy in the gift shop! We did buy a Wiener whistle!! I tried to get Jordan a deck of cards but he declined!! haha

We hope to go back to the Village outside when it gets warmer outside. They have a working train and in the Spring months there are some weekends that the train is "dressed up" to look like Thomas the Train! I thought that would be a BLAST to see, however no one in my family said the same! ha

It was a fun time!

We had a great break, good food, dear friends came to visit from out of town and fun was had by all!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Icing and cake and yummy stuff....

Do you know about this wonderful product called Vanilla Bettercreme? It's pourable icing and you just whip it 3-5 minutes and it's the most luscious tasty light airy fluffy yummy icing you ever had! Have you ever gone to a wedding and the wedding cake is either that icky gritty greasy icing or that light fluffy whipped icing....Well....this is it! It actually gets stiff and you can pipe and decorate with it as well! It ranges in price of $4-$4.50 per container. It's a bit more costly at the cake supply stores or I buy it at our local bulk store GFS (Gorton Foods). It colors easily as well and you could use it for cream fillings in lots of things! chocolate is my personal favorite! We just had Grace's Birthday not long ago and used is similar to Chocolate MOUSSE!! yum Have you ever been to a fancy shin dig and they had little chocolate cups with Chocolate Mousse? yep that's what this tastes like.......You could use about half a container to frost a 9 x 13 cake and maybe 3/4 to do a layer cake so it's nice and thick! So.......if you haven't tried it give it a shot! it's tastyyyyyy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Simple things......

We love the simple things don't we.......That's why we love these old shows! We watch the Waltons EVERY night during the school week! We all love that show (well I can't tell you Jordan loves it as much as we do! ha but I do see him drawn in sometimes!) ha For the last three days Hallmark movie channel has featured the Sarah Plain and Tall movies! I LOVE those........I think we like the "family" feel it gives us.......We can count on Mama's and Daddies that have good morals and take their little ducklings to church services on "Sundie!" We love it when siblings call each other honey like John boy calls his baby sister Elizabeth and we'd like to think that could happen at our house too! ha

We love Ma rolling out some dough to make fresh baked bread or cutting biscuits....We love her feisty ways and how she sweetly apologizes to "Pa" for talking to him gruffly earlier in the day! Or the feeling it would be to let your children run and play all through town without worrying about their safety........We love General stores and all the smiles cracking open a bottle of soda brings and what a special treat penny candy was! No show made a Peppermint stick sound as scrumptious as Mr. Olsen's store did on Little House on the Prairie! Or when the Ingles girls find a homemade sugar cookie in their Christmas stocking on Christmas morning because sugar was such a special treat (not to mention their OWN tin cups!)

I'm so glad we own almost all seasons of Road to Avonlea and we love to see what mischief Felix King is going to get into or Felicity fussing about Spring cleaning with her mother! Every Christmas we buy another season and I can't tell you how many times we've watched them and wanted to slip into long white ruffled nighties and make popcorn over a roaring fire.......To find an orange a delectable treat or buy a pair of little white gloves for 5o cents in the General store!

I love to hear the laughter from my girls as they watch Lucy and Ethel try to stuff chocolate bon bons in their mouth or churn their own butter! Ricky telling Lucy she's got some "splainin to do!" and precious little Ricky playing his drums while Fred and Ethel tease about Ethel's healthy appetite although Fred isn't any skinny stick himself!
There's no swearing, there's no nasty commercials, no sass that isn't dealt with, no harsh words or mom's and dad's yelling over dirty laundry on their bedroom floors.......Tough times that make us feel blessed today that we have all we need........The simple life, a great place to escape, teaching great morals to our kids without even speaking, cozy as a family in front of a fire, or tucked into the covers on Mike and my bed with just a candle lit and the light of the tv. we crave these little we wish tv. was like this today.......but we enjoy the time together, the popcorn the laughter the bonding!! Ahh the Simple Life!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sweet faith....

This was from an email that someone forwarded to my dad and I thought it was so touching and so true.......

Don't start reading this one until you've got more than a minute to just 'scan' over it. It deserves some time for reflection.
I envy Kevin. My brother, Kevin, thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night.
He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed...'
I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.
He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult.
He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.
I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?
Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.
The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.
He does not seem dissatisfied.
He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.
He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.
And Saturdays - oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside 'That one's goin' to Chi-car-go! ' Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.
His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.
And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.
His life is simple.
He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.
His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.
He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.
He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure.
He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.
Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an 'educated' person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.
In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.
It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care.
Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.
And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.
Kevin won't be surprised at all!