Thursday, July 30, 2009

Farm Fresh Eggs

Isn't this pretty? I think in the back of my mind I've always thought of farm raised brown eggs as being the best, though I admit that I haven't had the chance to try them.

But we are blessed to have several Farmers Markets in our area and have had fun visiting them this summer. One booth we found had farm fresh eggs, so I reached into the bottom of my purse and pulled out the $3.49 for one dozen. Crazy? Perhaps. But I was ready to try it and see for myself.

The next day I made scrambled eggs for breakfast and had high hopes. And yes they were very, very good. I found a couple of things pretty interesting about them, including the fact that the shell seemed to be thicker and stronger than the eggs we get in the store. And the yellow seemed much brighter.

Would I buy them again? Not very likely for $3.49 a dozen when I can get a dozen for a dollar at the grocery. Except that for a few moments during that one breakfast I felt a small spark of kinship with my kin from years past. And how do you really put a price on that?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake



We had such a fun family weekend! James and Loni went to the lake with some friends of theirs, so we got to keep Miss Brooklyn for the weekend. Her fun started with a pillow fight of sorts with her Aunt Lynne'



Every chance she got she would go outside with whoever happened to be headed that way. This little girl loves outside. Right now she had a grand time saying airplane and pointing everytime one went by...and when conditions are just right here in DFW we see a LOT of airplanes! Then she would kind of shrug and say "where'd it go?" I finally got her to saying airport after this happened several times.


Sunday we all headed to my aunt and uncle's house for a sort of mini-reunion. My mom, brother and sister-in-law all came to town for the weekend and off we all went. My cousin from Oregon and his wife and 7 month old baby Rita had come to town and everybody wanted to see them. Rita was a doll and had her first swim in a pool. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of pictures as I left the memory card from my camera at home on my desk - DOH!

Brooklyn had a BLAST in the pool! The photo above shows her Aunt Lynne' lifting her up while she's sitting in the floatey. "I'm jumping maw-maw" she'd call across the pool. So sweet! We even got her to jump off the side of the pool into my arms - of course while wearing a life jacket. She really is a bit of a daredevil.

For lunch we had wonderful brisket and pasta salad and so much more. I had been seeing recipes for snickerdoodle cakes around the internet, so printed off one of them. Sunday morning was busy running around, so my sister-in-law Michele made the cake for us to bring. I am here to tell you this cake was a huge hit! Of course when we showed up it was still warm from being pulled out of the oven, but the next morning I had a slice with my coffee and it was still delicious.

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake
(adapted from Dozen Flours)


2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 325F. Spray Bundt pan with Pam, then dust with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Save the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter on medium speed for one full minute. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and add the brown sugar, mixing until it looks light brown and uniform in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each for 1 full minute. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream; beat well.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Spread the rest of the batter into the pan and sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the top (mix up more sugar and cinnamon mixture if necessary).

Bake in preheated oven for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely (Note: We let it cool for about 10 minutes, then inverted onto a serving platter and covered loosely with foil to transport to the lunch.

See more great recipes at the Tasty Tuesday Food Parade and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tell Your Family You Love Them

Sometimes things happen that make you stop in your tracks for a minute and ponder the things in your life. For me it all happened this week.

We've been kind of on a whirlwind at home the last many weeks what with Lynne' moving back home, going on vacation, Brooklyn's birthday, family reunion fun this weekend, etc. I've started to notice some dissatisfaction in my thinking, particularly in my house. Not the house itself, but the things I've been wanting to do with it.

Then a few days ago a very dear blogger friend posted that she wouldn't be around much as her son had been tragically killed in a car accident. The three of us at home have talked about this and prayed for her family. The natural order of life is that you should never have to bury your children.

Last night after doing the dishes I went to lay on the bed for a few minutes and Lynne' came in to chat with me. We talked about the state of the nation, healthcare, etc. Then we started talking about things that needed to be done around the house in preparation for family coming to town and Brooklyn staying this weekend with us. We laughed about how much organizing I need to do. I told Lynne' that I never want my tombstone to read "she had a clean house", but rather I would like to be remembered as always being there for my family.

This morning before work we actually chatted about it again. Lynne' agreed wholeheartedly that she'd much rather have a mom that enjoyed life and being with her than to be overly concerned with the house.

I went to Debby's blog and saw that she had posted about her son's funeral being tomorrow. He's a very handsome young man and again my heart aches for her. Her closing statement was:

"If you have kids, dishes can wait, hobbies can wait, sleep can wait. If they call, if come over, that's all that matters at that moment."
My grandmother always said "It's not odd, it's God". Really there is no such thing as a coincidence. I called Lynne' at work to read Debby's words to her and she said "You know mom, that is so true. We never really know how much time we have with anybody".

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." Ecclesiastes 3:1-4


Now by no means am I advocating that we never clean the house, but the events of this week have shown me clearly that there are things way more important. I am hoping to always have my family and friends around and that they will be more of a focus than what my house looks like. Our time together is short on this earth and we should enjoy each other to the fullest.

AMEN!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You Capture - Black & White

I found out about the You Capture photography challenge via Twitter (did I mention I'm a little addicted to that time stealer?). And way back at the beginning of this blog I mentioned several times my desire to be a world famous photographer (not to be taken literally). But what I would really like to do is to learn how to take and process photos more to their advantage. Don't be surprised to hear about the new class I'll soon be taking...

In the meantime, I might try a few challenges. If nothing else, it allows me to show off the most precious granddaughter ever. :)



The photo was taken just a few minutes before we were able to go in to her birthday party and start running and jumping. Note the darling bows in her ponytails, the bows that didn't want to stay in once she was running around. :)

And how cute is wearing a tutu when you turn two years old???




I decided to play around a little more in Photoshop and add the pink back to her tutu. Do you see her little sneakers peaking out from underneath the tutu? She is such a doll baby. :)

If you'd like to see more photo entries or perhaps get all the details and join in, head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cream of Coconut Cake



This is the cake that mom brought for 4th of July this year. I really think this will be one of my 'go to' cakes now - it's that good. Only real problem is that so many people don't care for coconut. Ah well, just leaves more for the rest of us. ;)


Cream of Coconut Cake
recipe from my mom :)

1 package white cake mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cream of coconut
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 350 - grease and flour 9x13 pan.

Combine the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, cream of coconut and sour cream. Mix well for 4 minutes, then pour batter into pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cake cool, then frost with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle flaked coconut on top.

Frosting: Combine softened cream cheese, vanilla, milk and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and


Do you want more recipes? Check out the Tasty Tuesday Parade of Food.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stamp Club Projects

Friday night was Stamp Club and in addition to loving our demonstrator and enjoying the projects, we always have a nice time together as friends. Without fail we head to IHOP after our projects are finished for food and fellowship.

This last Friday was a good sized group and interestingly enough we all were grandmas to little ones. And the laughter...my word the laughter. I have not laughed like that in the longest time. The kind where you have to hold your side, there are tears streaming down your face and your cheeks start to hurt. What a blessing friends are.

And how much fun to share the love of our grands. Even a little matchmaking was done that evening. Now we only have to wait about twenty years or so to see if any of it comes true.


Cute projects too. This little 'purse' was originally sized to fit a post it note pad, but our demonstrater resized it to fit a package of gum. The stamps are from the 'Good Friend' set.


The front flap lifts up to show the good friend sentiment. This one my daughter claimed as soon as she saw it Friday night. She's excited to give it to one of her friends and can you even imagine how good that makes me feel? I love that she wants to gift her friends.


Our second project was a card using the 'On Your Birthday' set. This will have to be one I order at some point simply because it has some of the best birthday sayings ever...and many of them!

But wait....there's more!



Can you believe the inside of this card? There are two flaps on the long horizontal yellow piece that will hold a gift card. I first took the picture holding a credit card, then realized how not a good idea it was to post my credit card number on my blog. Yeah, I'm smart that way. :)

This is a new die that Stampin Up has come out with called Pop-Up Look Here. I really, really love this and think it adds so much to the inside of this card.
All cardstock is from the new Stampin Up catalog. And I love all the new colors.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Brooklyn Slides

video

Today was just such an incredible blessing. I have many thoughts and photos to post, but it's late at night and we attend early service at church tomorrow.

This one video will be posted today, on Miss B's actual birthday, to capture the essence of how much fun she had today. Right before we went into the room with all the jump 'things' I was standing talking to Ellie, my daughter-in-law's mother. She looked around at all the grandmas and grandpas that were there for Brooklyn's party and remarked how special it was, then shared that when she was growing up she didn't have a single grandparent. I replied that yes, Brooklyn is indeed very blessed. In addition to grandparents she had aunts and uncles and cousins aplenty at her party.

Truly my heart is full this evening. I adore being around my family. :)

Brooklyn Turns 2!

Happy birthday baby girl!

I mentioned to Keith last night that time has gone so fast and I can't believe B is turning 2. He disagreed and said it seems like so long ago that she was born. What we did agree on was that right now is our favorite time with her. Lord let the future always hold the same thought.

Now we're off for a birthday party for a 2 year old. I imagine I might have a photo or two to share when we get back. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday's Fave Five

Be sure to stop by Susanne's blog to read more Friday's Fave Faves. And here's a few of my favorite things from the past week:

1. Dinner Out With Friends - On Tuesday night our Bible Study group met for dinner and had such a nice time. Of course, any meal that ends in Blackberry Vanilla Cheesecake has to be good. :)

2. Y'all know there will always be a granddaughter entry! Taking Brooklyn shopping last Sunday was such a joy. Two year olds (her birthday is tomorrow!) enjoy such simple things and get so much pleasure from everything. She really thought throwing pennies in the fountains was funny and Pawpaw was right there to show her the best way to do it. By the time we were leaving the mall she would walk up to a fountain and turn to me with an outstretched hand to get pennies.

3. God's beautiful creatures - While we were out four wheelin' on vacation Keith saw this mama deer with her 2 babies. We stopped and watched them for a while, until we noticed that we were making mama a bit nervous. But it was such a special time to me because living in the city like we do this sort of thing is rare. And I think watching her with her babies makes a person realize that no matter who or what we are, babies are special.

4. My Daughter - Having Lynne' back home with us has been so much fun. I will admit that when she and her father get to going with the teasing and laughing they sometimes wear me out. :) But above all, it's so much fun to watch the two of them together. Last night I was laying in bed reading when they came in to tell me something. When I laughed it came out sounding really ridiculous and off they went. In no time at all Lynne' and I were laughing so hard we couldn't even talk. Good times. :)

5. My Husband - Having 10 days of holiday/vacation time together just solidified my love for this man. It doesn't matter if we're doing something exciting/fascinating or if we're just relaxing and not doing much at all, we just enjoy being together. He is such a blessing.

Memory Verse

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
- Isaiah 41:10 NIV

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dinner and a Movie, Retro Style

Does this look familiar? I asked my kids and a few gals at work if they remembered the giant cow outside the Sirloin Stockade restaurants and got some blank stares. Are we really that old? LOL!

While on vacation we decided to go out one night for dinner and a movie. Really I think we chose the Sirloin Stockade at least as much for the nostalgia value as we did for the food. Don't get me wrong, the food was really good, but oh how we enjoyed being there. I remember going to one with my parents when we were younger and also when we'd go to Arkansas to visit my grandparents and aunt we'd sometimes splurge and go (though I will admit that going out with the grandparents was a rarity as grandma LOVED to cook).



Dinner was finished in plenty of time to head to the theater. I think we realized just how spoiled we are in the Dallas area to have the stadium seating theaters and even movie theaters that serve dinner during the movie. During vacation though we were in a very small town and this theater reminded me of going to the movies many years ago. Back before everything had to be the biggest, loudest and shiniest. And the best part of this theater? Seeing a first run movie at 7:00 pm on a Friday night cost $3.00!

Truly it was a great evening together.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cherry Limeade Recipe - and Sliders!

One of the 4th of July meals that I planned and really went over well was Cherry Limeades and Sliders. I was surprised after the fact when I realized that we didn't do any grilled burgers or hot dogs, as is 4th of July custom. But what we did try turned out to be a big hit.
A few days before the holiday I found an issue of Taste of Home's Picnics, Potlucks & Barbecues magazine. Taste of Home never lets me down and I've got several of the recipes marked to try.

And since we absolutely love going to Sonic Happy Hour for half price drinks and getting a large cherry limeade for only a buck, I was thrilled to find a very good recipe for cherry limeades made at home.

Cherry Limeades
adapted from Taste of Home Picnics Potlucks & Barbecues

3/4 cup lime juice
1 cup Splenda
2 liters Sprite
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
8 maraschino cherries with stems
8 lime slices

Combine lime juice and Splenda in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, stir Sprite into the lime juice mixture (note: the first time we added the lime mixture to the Sprite and had an impressive volcanic eruption. After we cleaned that up we added the lime mixture to a little Sprite, then added the rest of the Sprite to that.)

For each serving place 1 tablespoon cherry juice into a glass, add crushed ice and about 1 cup of lime juice mixture. Stir, then garnish with a maraschino cherry and lime slice.



Now I have to admit that I didn't even really know what a slider was until fairly recently. I grew up in Oklahoma City and White Castle was nowhere in our state. And, *gasp*, when I grew up we didn't have the internet so there were lots of things we just never heard about.

But after I married Keith and we went to Minnesota on one of our family trips, we stopped in and had sliders to go. (A side note - I just went to ask Keith what city we went to and he couldn't remember. He did say though that the sliders I made were much better. I love that man. )

Anyway, through the wonders of Twitter, which I'll admit I'm rapidly becoming addicted to, I was made aware of an actual recipe for sliders! I was intrigued enough that I printed the recipe and made it a part of our family 4th of July menu. They were good enough that I do plan to make them many times in the future. There's something about a yeast roll, small bit of hamburger, cheese and regulation one pickle that is hard to resist.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shopping With Brooklyn

And we are home from vacation! This morning I woke up to the strangest sound - the alarm clock. Silly as it sounds I will admit that for a moment after waking I had no clue what was going on. All those days off with no clock were blissful. We got home last night and this morning we got up to go to church and get back into routine.

Not quite ready to shoulder our daily responsibilities, Keith suggested we go and get Brooklyn today and take her shopping with us. She will turn 2 next Saturday and we needed to get a gift purchased. Since Loni was busy getting the house ready for the party I think she was thrilled when I called and asked if we could take Miss B for a few hours.



Since it was over 100 degrees we decided to change our original plans somewhat and go to the mall where it would be cooler. Good choice because there are so many 'cool' things to see when you are 2. And I know that they are cool because that is one of her new words. When a 2 year old says "cool!" with wide-eyed wonder it is indeed a beautiful thing.



We put quarters in a little merry-go-round and she had a blast. Another little girl came and got on when she saw us getting ready to start it and it was so cute afterwards. I'd guess she was about 4 years old and she came over to me to ask if B could come over to her house tonight for her birthday party. "She can even have a piece of my birthday cake!" I thanked her and said that Brooke already had plans to come to Grandma's house, but that I hoped she had a really nice birthday. :)

Pawpaw taught Miss B the fine art of throwing pennies into fountains and honestly you forget about how much fun the simple things are until you experience them again with a Little Bit. She had such a blast and her laughter and squeals of delight brought smiles to so many faces.

We did find a very cute pair of pink sandals that she ended up wearing home from the mall. And we stopped at ToysRUs after the mall and found a few toys that will be wrapped and presented to her next weekend. But most of all, we were just so blessed by spending time with her.

Good times....

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Almost Time!

I'm sure everybody knows by now just how much I love this little girl. And I am beyond thrilled to get to spend some time with her this weekend.

I took this picture the day the three of us went up to the lake and it makes me laugh every time I look at it. She makes this face all the time and it's cute as can be.

And notice her shirt says "Grandpa's Sweetheart" on the front - and grandpa is right there at the edge of the picture. She is such a grandpa's girl and will follow him anywhere.

Good times, good food, and good company. The 4th of July is absolutely one of my favorite holidays and I have so very many good memories of it. Those memories might just be the reason I love this holiday so much. It's always spent with family and laughter.

Again, good times....