Sunday, May 9, 2010


My own beautiful mama. I love her more than words can say!
My dad and his parents. I'm pretty sure that this grandma gave me my quiet spunk. She is full of it, even though she doesn't always show it! She is so talented and amazing. I hope that somewhere in me I can find a fraction of the skill she has!

My mom and her mother. I hope that I can glean everything I can from this grandma. She is full of self reliant knowledge and is so strong a beautiful!

My beautiful, wonderful mother in law. I had heard scary stories about how girls struggle with their husbands' mothers. My story could not be further from those!!! This woman would give her life and more for her children and grandchildren. I strive to be that kind of mother!
I have been beyond blessed in my life to be raised and surrounded by strong, amazing, faithful women. I wish I had pictures of every woman that I consider family. These women range from aunts, sister in laws, cousins, sisters, neighbors, and friends.

Today I thought much of these women as I wrangled my crazy baby at church and tried not to cry. I thought of how my mother in law would rock and bounce her and sing, "Pretty baby, pretty baby," while snuggling Little Miss to her chest. I thought of my own mother, an example of reverence and faith with her own squirmy kids at church, distracting us with stories and songs about Jesus. I thought of the neighbor, who's children would all sit quietly in a row while dad played the organ and mom was out nursing a baby. I could go on and on, but I bit back my tears and tried my best to comfort my overly tired baby.

I have always wanted to be a mother. I went into teaching so I could be surrounded by children. I know that it is a divine position, and, even through the hard days, could not wish to be doing anything different with my life. I so look forward to the day when my house will be filled with the sounds of all of my children (however many there may be) working and playing together. That is my heaven.

I love my sweet husband and Miss E for allowing me the opportunity to be a mother. It makes my life more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.

15 Month Cutie

Time flies! Looking back on the last three months, my heart aches because my baby is quickly turning into a little girl, but I can't help but smile at the fact that she is growing and is so healthy and strong.
Our doctor's visit went very well this month. We were glad to hear that E doesn't seem to be anemic anymore (12 month appt showed some signs). Her stats at this time are:

Weight: 21.13 lb ~ 30th percentile
Height: 30 1/4 in ~ 50th percentile
Head: 47 cm ~ 75th percentile
(She may be a little munchkin, but she's got a big head!)

*Full blown walker extraordinaire
*Doesn't really care to talk, but signs a few words: milk, more, food, please
*"Counts" We start counting and she makes sounds like she is counting too.
*Animal sounds: cow-ooo, monkey-oo oo, snake-sssss, piggy-k k k, fishy-she opens and closes her mouth
*Loves mom's "pretties" (bracelets)
*Still LOVES to make a mess and still HATES church...
*Pretty good eater still, but is starting to reject squishy foods, ie: rice with chicken soup.
*Favorite "toy": the rocks that make up our front yard

Fun at the Treehouse museum...blocks, puppets, storytime, fun!

Probably yelling at someone at the museum...she's a bit of a bully...we're working on that!
Fun at Baskin Robbins 31 cent night. It was freezing!

Miss E got her own scoop...Watermelon. Yum!

All of these next pictures were from a park near our house. She kept the sunglasses on for quite a while, which is surprising. Note: She went on all of the fun toys and still chose to play with rocks for the majority of the time we were there.

Little Missy, I never knew this would be possible, but I love you more than the day you were born! You are still my angel girl and I love you more than anything!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Week of Good Eats

To be quite honest, our menus lately have been fairly boring. I have been keeping them, just not sharing because there really wasn't much to share. This week, however, we did have a few standout meals that will definitely be returning to our table! Enjoy! (PS I know that I am not a food photographer by ANY means! Don't judge.)

Honey Lime Chicken Sandwiches
Adapted from Rachel Ray
Makes enough for ~4 large sandwiches2 large chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons honey1 t seasoning (garlic pepper, Montreal seasoning, etc)
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large ziploc bag and let marinate overnight. Heat the grill to medium/medium-high. Place the chicken on the hot grill and let cook until almost cooked through (you can see that it is cooked when no longer clear), flip over just to make grill marks on the other side. Slice the chicken across the grain, 1/4 inch thick slices.I love to serve this on sandwich/hoagie buns from the bakery. (Winco $.30/ea)

Melt cheese on top of the chicken on the bun (I like cheddar, Steve-pepper jack)
Lettuce (red leaf is really good!)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Anything else that sounds good

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbs. (2 packages) dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
In a small bowl mix the warm water with the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes - foam should form on the top.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. Gradually add the yeast mixture. Mix until the dough becomes a smooth ball and knead for 5 minutes. (I use my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook)
Cut in half and then shape into 2 baguettes. To make them smooth and pretty, roll each half of dough into rectangle and roll up lengthwise. Pinch the edges to seal and place on lightly greased cookie sheet (or silpat) with seam down. Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With a very sharp knife (I like to use a serrated blade) gently make a slash down the length of each baguette. This will give it that authentic look. Pour water in a cookie sheet and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Half way through, brush the bread with melted butter.

**This was REALLY fast and REALLY yummy! We ate it with creamy spaghetti (spag. sauce with cream cheese melted in) yum!**

Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Muffins
Adapted From

2½ cups all-purpose flour (I did 1 1/2 C wheat flour, 1 C AP Flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
¾ cup butterscotch chips
¾ cup chopped apples
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped

*I left out the pecans and increased apples and chips. I also added about 1/4 cup wheat germ.*

For topping (optional):
Dried apple slices
Maple syrup
Granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the wells of two muffin pans with paper liners (about 18 liners total). Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix lightly with a fork to blend. Stir in the oats. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Beat in the applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and beating just until incorporated. Fold in the butterscotch chips, apples, and toasted pecans with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. If desired, press a dried apple slice into the top of the batter in each cup. Drizzle lightly with maple syrup and sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: about 18 muffins

**These were AMAZING! My last couple of batches of muffins have been...subpar. These were awesome and we were very glad to have the extra 6, as most recipes usually make 12. We were also excited that, aside from the little bit of butter and chips, these are really quite healthy. Note: I did not do any kind of topping and I feel like they turned out great.**