Saturday, September 27, 2014

It's a family secret. And now you're one of us.

I think every family has those things they require on special occasions. Something they can always count on when they get together. We have one of those. My Aunt Linda always has Brigadeiros at every family birthday. Her family spent many years in Brazil and this is one of the things she brought back with her. This contribution to our family celebrations. We heart her for it.

Tonight was one such celebration where we got to indulge. They are little balls of deliciousness. I had 10. Give or take a few. I felt like I needed to share, just in case you are looking to add something amazing to your family celebrations. She was kind enough to share the recipe with me tonight. If you bring them once, just know, you will most likely be required to bring them every time thereafter. 

2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp cocoa

Heat all in saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly until it boils. Turn heat down to low and continue to stir until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Refrigerate until cool. Butter hands and form into small balls. Roll in chocolate sprinkles. Place in mini paper cups.  Try your best to not pop 7 in your mouth. Or hide them from everyone so you can keep them to yourself. 

Now for some pics from the evening. 

A little trampoline football anyone? 

Some wagon pulling

Some Carmel apple making

Another perfect evening on the farm. 

Happy 3rd Birthday Ezra!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Don't blink

One day, you are swinging on the swings with  your friends on the playground at school, then your cheering on the football field in middle school, then  you get your drivers license and are driving yourself to school in your really large new/old car,  then you go on your first date, then your moving into the dorm with your best friend, then your getting married to your college sweetheart, then your starting  your first "real" job,  then you find yourself in the hospital giving birth to your first child, then you do it 2 more times, then your dropping them off at their first day of school, then your son wants you to drop him at a friends house instead of the school.  Don't blink.  Just the other day I was on that elementary school playground.

In less than 30 days,  I"m ticking off another year.  I've never been afraid of birthdays.  Why would I be?  I usually get more attention than normal, and hear from people I haven't in awhile.  I open presents, get the night off from cooking, and go to bed feeling loved.  For some reason, the impending birthday this year, has me a little nervous.  And I'm not going to be 40.  I'm going to be 39.  What is it with 39?  I would think I would really be freaked out about 40, but I'm not.  Its 39 I can't quite stomach.  

I feel like I've learned a lot from my 30's.  It has held the best years of my life, and its held the worst years of my life.  I've learned I don't need to apologize for who I am.  I've learned I have a lot more strength on both the inside and the outside.  I know what hard work yields.  I know who are my friends and who aren't.  I've learned sometimes you have to let things go.  I've learned your metabolism really does slow down as you get older.  I've learned I really don't like ice cream.  I've learned being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, and its the most rewarding thing I've ever done.  I've learned you can't kill a toyota camry.  

So as this last year of my 30's approaches, I'm going to be intentional about it.  I'm going to make it the best.  I'm going to buy more purses.  I'm going to run harder and faster.  I'm going to let the people I love know just how much.  I'm going to drink coffee out of a cute mug every. single. day.  Now I'm kind of excited about 39…...

Friday, September 19, 2014

She is still the queen. And here's her Buttermilk Pancake recipe.

I remember sitting on my couch in my apartment I shared with my roommate Shannon.  I was 20.  She had turned the TV onto some woman cooking something. That woman she had turned on, Martha Stewart, was soon to be someone I was going to learn a lot from. A little  known secret about me is that I used to make a mean box of macaroni and cheese when I was 10, and I instructed my imaginary audience all along the way.  So if someone has their own cooking show, I'm automatically jealous, and attentive.

I checked out her cookbooks, watched her TV shows, and followed her legal woes.  And I of course watched the made for TV movie of her life story.  I even looked into getting a job when I graduated at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.  I heart her.  And her buttermilk pancake recipe.

Breakfast for dinner is nothing new at my house.  It happens at least once a week.  And pancakes is the most requested dish by far.  Now I grew up on the box of Bisquick.  So I'm not going to knock it, if thats your go to.  Well, ok, I am.   This recipe is free of chemicals, and so much tastier.  So if your new to cooking, and are afraid to pitch the box, I dare you.  Or if you aren't new to cooking, and need a go to recipe for pancakes, search no more.  She's still the queen.  And I give you, Martha Stewart's Best Buttermilk Pancakes. (and no, you can not substitute the buttermilk for plain milk)

2 cups all-purpose flour (please use unbleached)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter melted

Heat griddle to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine
Batter should have small to medium lumps

Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 tsp butter on the griddle (ok, so I don't do this part, I just slap some pats of butter on it)

Using a 1/2 cup pour in pools on the griddle.  When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, flip over.  Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

This part is from me: pour only 100% pure maple syrup on top and sprinkle with chopped nuts.  Or blueberries, or chocolate chips, whatever your little heart desires!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Important Information!!!

I feel like I need to share some really important information with you.  Because if I kick the bucket, and you don't know this, well, I might have to answer to it.

  • When the teacher makes a double sided calendar, one side with specials, and the other side with the snack calendar, you need to place it on your refrigerator snack calendar side up.  Because you once again, will be surprised with the snack bucket on the evening of all 3 of your kids soccer practices and parent teacher conferences.
  • Have I mentioned yet that I can't quit playing "Shake it Off" by Taylor?  I think it might be a serious problem.  
  • And while we're on the topic of music, Dan + Shay is completely on my radar.  They just might make my top 5 groups of all time.  And that is saying a lot.  Good luck Dan + Shay.  Its a coveted list to be on.
  • We went camping last weekend.  I think we need to go every weekend now this fall.  However the man who puts up the tents and lugs the food and supplies would most likely revolt. And we would miss church.  But this is what is important.  If you have not had coffee from a coffee press, sausage, scrambled eggs, and fried potatoes, in the middle of nature, with the lake a few yards away, in your camping pajamas, you have. not. lived. 
  • When you decide to let your children take music lessons, be sure to budget at least $300 for the purchase of music and instrument rentals.  Lest your family will be eating beans all week because you made up that budgeting shortfall in the grocery budget.  Or, get a bigger budget.  
  • It is ok to go to bed at 9, when you put your kids to bed.  It doesn't mean your getting really old, it means your really tired.  
Alright.  I feel like my duty is done today.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014


There is something about grandparents that is special. And I'm not lying when I say my grandmother, aka GeeGee is seriously the best grandma ever. 

GeeGee is special for many reasons. It would be a very long blogpost if I were to list them all. She is 95 years old. She still fixes herself a well balanced breakfast every morning, prune included. She walks up and down the street for her exercise, and drives herself, fast I might add, to the beauty shop every Saturday. She writes everything down. And when I say everything, I mean everything. She said to me today, "honey did you know it was 6 years ago today you had an interview with such and such company?" She knew this because she had written it down on her calendar. She transfers events to her new calendar every year. She gives my children a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter every week and has done this since they were very small. She used to make the absolute best fried okra. Before birthdays we always receive a card with money in an envelope that is adorned with many stickers. And we need to make mention of each of them lest she point them out. She loves to tell me what pictures I need to be taking at every family function. And she always has tabs on everyone. But when she doesn't she will say "well where is so and so????" Very concerned. The answer is always "in the bathroom geegee"

I love her so much. She is beautiful, a prayer warrior, who has called my name before The Father probably more times than I could imagine, and I am so very, very blessed to call her my GeeGee.