Saturday, December 1, 2012

Breakfast "In Bed"

      I have to brag on my husband and kids for a minute.  Several times a year, they make me an elaborate breakfast worthy of Mother's Day.  The spread usually looks something like this:

Somehow, I managed to score two such breakfasts in the month of November.  I don't think I did anything super special to deserve them, but I do think that one little 7 year old is angling for a good word to Santa.  *wink*

I love how much my family loves me.  I love them right back.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not-So-Guilty Muffins

I was playing around with my basic muffin recipe last night, and I created something I like to call Not-So-Guilty Muffins.  I haven't taken the time to count out the fat content or the calories, but they have no butter, use applesauce and bananas (that's two fruits!) so they have to be better for you than most muffins, right?

Not-So-Guilty Muffins
2 cups self-rising flour (or 2 cups all purpose flour + 2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 cup apple sauce
2/3 cup fat free milk
3/4 cup chopped bananas (best if they are soft)
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray muffin tin with baking spray or use cupcake liners.

In large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour and sugars).

In another large bowl, mix together applesauce, eggs, milk and bananas.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the applesauce, eggs, milk and bananas.  Gently stir together--do not over incorporate.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin tin 3/4 full of muffin mix.  Bake 18-20 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.

These muffins were kid-tested and approved by my two pickiest eaters.  If you want, you can add some chocolate frosting on top and call them Not-So-Guilty Cupcakes instead.  Or, as I like to call them, breakfast.

(chocolate frosting is recipe on box of Hershey Cocoa)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Write That Down (WTD) #1

In telling the tales of my kids, I have often been advised to, "write that down so you don't forget."  Starting today, I am taking that advice to heart and sharing here the funny/cute things my kids say and or do.  I don't want to forget the little things they do that make Mark or me smile or laugh.  These are the moments we cherish.

Garrett has been extremely helpful lately.  It came as no surprise to us last night when he brought me some clothes he said I could donate.  As I looked through the clothes, I realized not a stitch belonged to Garrett.  All of the clothes belonged to Emily and Austin.

Later in the night, Mark and I heard Garrett trying to sell his toys to Austin for a dollar.

Anna has her own word for a case of the hiccups: "picky-ups"

These are just a few examples of why we enjoy our kids so much.  They constantly keep us on our toes. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sad Demise

Earlier this month, I blogged and bragged about my KitchenAid Chef's Chopper.  I even named it my OOMA #2.  Sadly, it gave its final spin last week when I was making bread crumbs to use in my meatloaf recipe.  By the way, I was making meatloaf for 18 people.  Not a good time for it to conk out on me.  Nevertheless, I stand by my previous post.  I had a good six years with that little machine.  I guess it is time to buy another, or perhaps a bigger one.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Photo Op

Every Spring I get excited.  Sure, there is much to be happy about: Easter, warmer weather, birds singing and flowers blooming.  But what really puts a smile on my face is the chance to take an enchanting photo of my enchanting children.  I lovingly pick out color coordinated outfits, complete with new shoes and accessories.  I pick out the perfect backdrop and I wait for the perfectly lit day to take the photo(s).  Easter Sunday arrived and everything was picture perfect.  This is what I got:

My attempt at taking that perfect photo didn't quite work out.  That's okay.  I knew there would be another chance.  Much to my chagrin, I had learned earlier this Spring that bluebonnets do not grow where we live in East Texas.  I had considered a "bluebonnet photo" a rite of passage for the state's newest residents (namely my kids).  I had wondered how I was going to convince my husband to drive at least 2.5 hours to find a field of bluebonnets.  Last week we went out of town to attend my grandmother's funeral.  Always one to look for the silver lining, I thought that perhaps while we were in town, I could get a photo of my kids with bluebonnets.  They happen to grow in abundance there.

The morning we were set to drive home, we decided to leave in the late afternoon.  I knew this would be my only chance to get the photo I wanted.  We dressed the kids back in their carefully selected outfits and headed out to find the bluebonnets.  We searched here and there and only found the occasional patch of bluebonnets.  Nothing like the vast fields I had imagined.  Had all the bluebonnets gone to sleep for another year?

We decided to try one more road.  Finally, we found the elusive flowers.  Hundreds, if not thousands of them awaited my kids and my camera.  There was only one small problem.  The "field" of bluebonnets was located right in the middle of a small town cemetery.  Not one to be discouraged, I asked Mark to pull over so I could scout the location.  It appeared that there were only headstones surrounding the bluebonnets, not actually among them.  Good enough for me.  Even more wonderful was the cloud covered day that would ensure good lighting.

Once again, my plans did not quite work out the way I expected.  The cloud covered day was deemed "too shiny" by my five year old with the others quickly in agreement.  At one point, I even had them close their eyes until just before I hit the shutter button.  You see how well that great idea worked:

I gave up on the group shot and instead focused on getting a nice individual one of each kid.  Perhaps I could make a collage of their perfect poses? 

Alas, my mission of obtaining the perfect photo in this field of bluebonnets was a bust.  But never fear, one day I will get a great group photo of all the kids.  It may even happen this year sometime.  Did you know the "Op" in photo op is short for opportunity?  I think in my case it is short for optimistic.

At least this bluebonnet took a "perfect" photo.  See, that's me looking for the silver lining again. :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday, Austin!

I am one good-looking 5 year old!

 I love my Toy Story cake!

I am so excited to blow out 5 candles!

 Anna wants me to hurry.

My sisters, my cousin and my brother are ready for the party!

Boots, so I can be just like Woody.

Howdy! I'm a cowboy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Good-bye, Granny

Granny Mary
August 1925 - April 2012

My Granny, my last grandparent, passed away a couple of days ago.  She was 86 years old and lived on her own up until about a year ago when she fell and severely broke her arm.  Granny had to relocate to a nursing home for rehabilitation.  After her arm was healed, Granny decided not to go back to her apartment and instead, stay at the nursing center.  She realized that her health was failing and she could no longer live on her own.

Several years ago, Granny began to lose her hearing and a couple of years ago she also began to lose her sight as well.  Knowing this, my last visit with her (less than a month ago) was amazing.  The kids and I stopped by to see Granny while we were in my hometown for my uncle's funeral.  Anna, the theater princess, was pretending to be a bird by flapping her arms  and saying, "Tweet tweet".  Granny got a kick out of the performance and would call back, "Tweet tweet, where's my bird?"  We were all astonished at how much she was hearing (and I suspect seeing).  I don't hesitate to say it was the best personal visit I had with her in a long time.

I mention "personal visit" because Granny and I also had some nice talks when she lived in her apartment.  She had a special phone that helped her hear the caller so it was often easier to visit with her by phone.  She loved Danielle Steel and I am a fan of Nora Roberts so we had an appreciation of romance novels in common.  We'd talk about books (Granny had large print ones and then audio ones).  When she had run out of Danielle Steel to read, I made suggestions of other authors for her to try.  We also talked about family.  I was/am doing research on my family tree and Granny was helpful in providing information about her family as well as information on my grandfather's family since he died in 1979.

I was my Granny's only red headed grandchild.  For as long as I can remember, Granny has had snow white hair, but she was redheaded, as was my dad.  Every time I see a snow white hair pop up on my head, I think of Granny and I think I always will.  One of these days (way, way in the future) I hope to have a whole head full of snow white hair like her.

We love you, Granny.

Granny and her mom "Big Mama"

 Granny and me at my wedding.

 Granny on her 75th birthday.

 Granny holding Emily.

My kids, me and Granny at her home.