type='text/javascript'/> A Latte Talk: May 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Foody Friday - Simple

First of all, may I just say that you are all ROCK STARS?! OK, not all of you. 6 of you. Thanks to you who gave some great theme-y ideas! Foody Friday is good to go here for a long while.

Now. When I say "Simple", I mean simple. Not like the magazines where "simple" means go out and spend $$$ on little baskets that are cute and make your life "look" simple. Or make this "simple" meal that has 12 ingredients, and you have to go to a specialty store to find 4 of the ingredients.

There's a great magazine out there that is really fun to look at. It's probably my favorite one. But it's called "Real Simple" and y'all, what is included ain't simple. It's good. And fun. And cute. And trendy. Ain't simple. I think they should call it "Real Cute".

Here's what I call simple.

Two things, actually. Because my first one is just plain embarrassing. So then I will redeem myself with another one that I use a lot.

Cherry Dump


Yellow Cake Mix
Cherry pie filling, canned
Stick of butter, melted


Spray square baking pan with cooking spray.
Dump half the box of cake mix into pan.
Pour 1/2 the butter evenly over cake mix.
Dump cherry pie filling in. Spread evenly.
Dump remaining 1/2 of cake mix over the cherry filling.
Pour remaining 1/2 of butter evenly over the top.

Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes. Will get brownish and bubbly.

Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream (this is essential). This delicacy is SOOOOOOOO sweet, you won't even believe it. I can only eat a small scoop, or else my teeth start to hurt. Seriously!

There you have it. I grew up eating Cherry Dump. It never occurred to me that it was kind-of a gross name. That ALL my friends laugh at. BUT then they request it at our next get-together. And then they mock it again. They EAT it, and then mock it.

On to simple idea #2. It is a really big stretch that I'm even going to call what follows a recipe. It's more of a continuing meal idea that gets used at my house on a regular basis. Born by the following 3 truths:

1) I hate leftovers
2) I like hot food at lunch
3) I love love love mexican food.

I have no less than 5 salsas in my fridge at this very moment. I love all things mexican. So I spice up leftover meat for lunch. I admit I'm stuck in a rut.

Simple Tacos

Here's what you need:

Tortillas (corn or flour - I personally like corn because they're healthier and they're super cheap)
Leftover meat of any kind/or beans

tomatos/onions/lettuce/avocado/cilantro (I'd add all of this if I were doing it for dinner)

Here's what makes this simple: Grill extra chicken one night, have leftovers the next day. Or pot roast can become shredded beef. Or pork becomes carnitas. Just shred the meat and add some garlic/lime/cumin to it, heat it up a little and voila! Also, often I'll do just black beans instead of meat.

Can't wait to hear your simple ideas. Please, join us if you are new! All are welcome to post and linky!

Next week our theme will be your favorite "Company Food". And I'm giving you a week so you can drum up pictures if you want! Company food is often so pretty. So, make it and take pictures! :)

Happy Foody Friday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This week, the theme will be simple recipes. One with just a few ingredients. Or one that you make from memory because it's easy enough to remember.

I need ideas! Leave a comment if you have ideas for future themes for Foody Friday.

Miss Margaret

Miss Margaret is one of the blessings God gave us when we moved to our current house. She lives next door.

The first time I knew of her was about a week before we moved in. Aunt Dawn was driving through our neighborhood and called me to ask the address so she could go see what our new place looked like. I was on the phone with her when she drove up and she said, "Oh! There's a lady next door, out in the yard! I'm going to say hello!" So she put the phone down and rolled down her window to say a brief hello.

This brief hello went beyond the statutory limits of "brief". Miss Margaret told Aunt Dawn about her birthday, her baptism when she was a baby, her breast cancer, her career in anesthesiology, and I don't know what all else. And she told her that she's in her 80's. And... that she has Alzheimer's.

I was waiting, on the phone in Dawn's lap, for at least 10 minutes. Giggling at the sweet lady who just couldn't stop talking. She sounded so lonely.

I'm thinking, "Oh great. I'm going to have to dash in the house everytime I see this lady or else I'll get stuck talking about the events of 1931". I can't say that I had a bad attitude, but it definitely wasn't an attitude that was poised to show the deep, deep love of Jesus.

Well, we moved in and have loved living next to Miss Margaret. And I'll tell you who has benefited most from this neighbor - my girls. Corene and Ava a. dore. Miss Margaret. Miss Margaret has raspberry bushes. Miss Margaret has pretty pretty flowers (them'd be dandylions & violets). Miss Margaret talks to them and hugs them and smiles at them and walks around with them and looks at their chalk drawings. They can't seem to get enough of her.

Miss Margaret really loves living next to my girls, too. She tells me e-v-ery-time I see her that I have wonderful children, and that she loves having children living here, and as often as they're outside and she can come out, she does. I can tell that they make her day.

It has become such a sweet friendship they've formed.

Look who's showing the deep, deep love of Jesus.

And look who's showing ME how to show the love of Jesus.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tribute to Maria Sue Chapman

I am sobbing. You must watch this.

Go get some tissues first.

A sweet, sweet girl and a sweet, sweet family.

And a good, good God.

I'm just so sad for them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Foody Friday - Picnic Fare

Memorial Day is just around the corner! That means, yes... SUMMER is here! That means, yes... PICNICS are here!


So, quickly, I need to get to bed because I've been fighting the cold that never ends... it just goes on and on, my friends!

OK, wow. I get off track so quickly.

Picnic food.

This is an oft-requested favorite that... frankly... I really don't like. But it must be good. Because I've made it for approximately 150 people over 20 different occassions and everybody usually proclaims it the best potato salad that they've ever eaten. Some have even dubbed it "Jenny's Potato Salad". But please don't do that. I did NOT name it. Because I would never put my name next to the words "Potato Salad" on purpose. Ever.

But... that is a major misnomer anyway because I call it "Gramma's Potato Salad", and that is what it really is. Great-grandma Pauline taught me, and this is her recipe:

*Whatever potatoes you want, peeled, cubed, boiled, cooled. I usually use peeled Russet or unpeeled Reds. Amount: ack. what looks right for a large bowl. :) Maybe 6-8 depending on size?
*High ratio of hard-boiled egg (for a big bowl of potatoes, I use a dozen eggs), peeled and chopped
*1/2 large or 1 whole small sweet onion (HAS to be sweet. if you can't find a sweet one, use less)
*little bit of mustard (a squirt)
*little bit of minced dill pickles (maybe 4-6 baby dills, chopped up fine)
*Hellman's Mayo (I think this is called Best Foods in other areas of the country)
*Salt, Pepper.

Mix it up.

And, yes, according to Gramma, you must use Hellman's. I've obeyed her instructions and have never tried anything else, so I can't tell you what the difference is. I do sometimes cheat and use Hellman's Light.

I am SO sorry to all of you who like to measure... I know this kind of recipe must give you a headache. It's pretty obnoxious to not have measurements, I know. I'm sorry. My challenge to all of you: TRY IT!

They tell me it's good.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Theme! Theme! For you planners!

Picnic fare. It is Memorial Day coming up, after all.

Desserts, cold pasta salad, make-ahead sandwiches, potato salad, ekseterah, ekseterah.

Operation Family Laundry

I. Hate. Laundry.

Plain and simple, it's my nemesis. But. It's getting worse. I remember I hit a wall when I had one child. It was SO MUCH! Then add another, and then another. And all of them, as they grow, their clothes grow. And, recently, both my girls have regressed with their nighttime accidents, so we have multiple sets of sheets to wash some days. It's just a boat load of laundry.

I ask you, what will it be like when I have 3. teenagers.

Oh, yeah. They will do their own laundry...


Since we moved into our new house, I just have not been able to get on top of it. There is always much laundry. Even when I make a huge effort to get it all done, there's more that appears out of nowhere.

These are the (frequent) conversations we have:

Corene: Mommy, I don't have any underwear, but it's ok. I can wear the underwear from yesterday.

Me: NO, you can not wear a pair of underwear 2 days in a row.

Corene: Actually, 3.

Me: Excuse me?

Corene: I already wore them for two days.

Me: (covering ears) La la la. I didn't hear that.


Me: I know, I heard you. (digging through the laundry basket of clean clothes) Here's a pair of clean underwear.

Corene: That's Ava's underwear!

Me: Put them on. (They have the same size behind, really)



(Ava sitting cross-legged in her skirt at the table)

Me: (noticing that a certain undergarment is missing from Ava's bum) Ava, did you forget to put your underwear back on when you just went potty?

Ava: No, I didn't have underwear today.

Me: Excuse me?

Ava: I couldn't find any this morning. But, I had a skirt on. You couldn't see my bum.

Me: Ava! You were over at Luke's house today playing in the dirt! And you didn't have any underwear on??

Corene: (piping in) It's ok, Mom. Whenever I could see her bum I reminded her to sit like a lady.

Me:(covering ears) La la la. I didn't hear that.

Corene: I SAID...


And I'm not even going to address the issue of having nonstop baskets of clean clothes that don't get put away. Our issue in the above scenarios doesn't mean we don't HAVE clean clothes. It means they can't FIND them.

And, babysitters can't find them, and Grambies can't find them. Yes, even DADDIES can't find them.

It is making me crazy. I'm so sick of it, I'm reinventing the wheel.

So. I have a new plan. I am going to[try to] do 1-2 loads of laundry each and every day (ok, most days), and put it away that day. Folded and put away. My thought is that if I do just a little at a time and make a habit of it, it will be easier to handle, instead of having 8 loads and being overwhelmed by it. I'm thinking that it will take me 30-45 minutes of my day if I do it this way.

What do you think? Will this work? This is Grambie's way, she's been suggesting this would make my life easier for years. But I've never been interested in buckling down and being good about it. So here I go.

Wish me luck.

I'll update you on my progress.

And just to be real, I'll include pictures.

But not today.

I'm starting tomorrow.

Actually, I'm putting away the clean clothes tomorrow. So I'm starting on Thursday.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Of Dogs and Kids

We've got messes:


Who needs a dog?

Don't judge me.

Yes, he ate all of it.

I didn't clean a bit of it.

Thank you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reflections on Mother's Day Part 2

When I am happy, I have the tendency to think everyone else is happy, too.

We don't often assume that the people around us are hurting. At least I don't. I'm relatively happy-go-lucky by nature, and I assume everyone around me is nice, honest, happy, and rich. Kidding on the rich.

So when I go to church on Mother's day weekend, and it is a happy time for me, I greet those around me with joy!

I'm a mother! You're a mother! Lets honor the mothers and make them feel special! In some churches I've been in, they've had the mothers stand or had a flower to hand out to each mother, or some token of honor. I've never thought anything about it. It's really a nice gesture.

My church does something a bit different. A bit unconventional. They don't have anything for the mothers. They have white roses at the front of the church that are for anyone that finds Mother's Day painful for any reason. It might be that your mom is no longer living. It could be infertility or the loss of a child. Or both. Or maybe your desire is to marry and have children, and yet you remain single. Given these situations, the truth is that there are many around me that feel pain on Mother's Day. There were many, many people last Sunday with white roses in their hands. They were everywhere.

Read Jenna's post from last Sunday. It's beautiful. Worth the 15 second pop over there.

This Mother's Day, at my Aunt's church in California, upon entering the sanctuary door, each woman was asked, "Are you a Mother?". If the woman said, "Yes", they were given a flower and a small box of chocolates.

Sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? In theory? Mother's day is about honoring mothers. Let's honor the mothers!

But, you know where I'm going with this. Put yourself in the position of someone (many many someones) who have attempted pregnancy for years, or have lost children to miscarraige, and are yearning to be a mommy. This sweet woman walks into the door of that church, probably dreading every second of the big "Happy Mother's Day" message. Maybe she didn't even want to go to church at all that day. Last year on Mother's Day, she thought "This will be my last Mother's Day without children! Next Mother's Day, it will be my day!" But, here's another Mother's Day with pain. Raw pain. Now as she walks into church, she is asked, "Are you a Mother?!" and then given nothing when she squeaks out a "no". So hurtful.

The only reason I am now sensitive to this pain is because of the beautiful way my church has dealt with this issue (and the many people I saw with white roses there), as well as watching my BFF Auntie struggle through 3 of the lousiest Mother's Days the last 3 years.

I'm not on a soapbox about insensitive churches. I'm one of the insensitive ones. Being sensitized by other's pain.

This is another way we can rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. (Rom 12:15)

I can't mourn with someone who needs me to mourn with her if I'm blind to her pain.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Foody Friday - Grilling

It's almost Summer! Grilling is my favorite Summer food option.
A few years ago, we only had a charcoal grill (many husbands out there would say "hooray!" to charcoal grills). I know, I know... the taste is superior. Blah blah blah.

Methinks gas is better because we turn a knob, push a button, and viola! the grill is ready. We use it 10 times more often than we used our charcoal grill, and I think it tastes fine. :)

So. I'm gonna go with a somewhat time-intensive recipe for my grilling recipe. Honestly, most of the time, I sprinkle chicken breasts with garlic salt and throw them on the grill with some veggies. That's my standard, not much of a recipe.

So here's a great, yummy yummy recipe. Mmmm... Great served with pitas and hummus. Last year it got 50/50 reviews from my kids (One loved it, one didn't).

Grilled Ratatouille

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 yellow or red Grilled Bell Peppers
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
Balsamic-Herb Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, grilled*
12 mushrooms
2 small yellow zucchini, halved lengthwise
1/3 cup slivered fresh basil leaves

1.Spray medium glass casserole with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. To make basting mixture, combine 2 tablespoons vinegar with oil in small bowl; set aside.
2.Remove strips of peel from eggplant, lengthwise at 1-inch intervals, and remove ends. Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Thread eggplant and onion quarters onto metal skewers; baste. Grill on covered grill over medium coals 20 to 30 minutes or until grill-marked and tender, basting and turning every 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grill bell pepper skin side down on grill for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool and remove skin.
3.Meanwhile, heat oven to 325°F. Prepare Balsamic-Herb Vinaigrette. Remove eggplant and onion from grill. Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch strips; place eggplant and onion in prepared casserole with Balsamic-Herb Vinaigrette. Cover loosely and place in oven to hold.
4.Grill cherry tomatoes. To grill mushrooms, thread whole mushrooms onto 2 or 3 metal skewers; baste mushrooms and cut sides of zucchini. Grill mushrooms and zucchini on covered grill over medium coals 10 to 15 minutes or until browned and tender, basting and turning once. Remove from grill; cut zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Add zucchini and mushrooms to eggplant mixture.
5.Dice bell peppers; add bell peppers and tomatoes to eggplant mixture. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar and basil. Garnish, if desired.

Balsamic-Herb Viniagrette

Mix below ingredients in a small bowl:
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper


Linky below:

Don't forget to comment if you linky, please! :) I heart comments!

A foody theme

This week's Foody Friday theme was chosen by guest-foody-friday-theme-chooser, Jenna .

Jenna is my blog mother. Really. She birthed my blog. Actually, she was more like the midwife. This is how it all began.

Me: I don't have a hobby. I need a hobby.
Jenna: You could blog. Blogging could be your hobby.
Me: Humph. HAHAHAHAHA. I couldn't have a blog. What would I say?
Jenna: Oh, you'd be surprised what you find to say.
Me: Humph.

(repeat above conversation about 3 times over the course of a month)

Then, one morning, I read a really cool cool thing in my Bible and I was telling Jenna about it, and she said, "You could blog that!! ...If you had a blog..."

So... about 2 hours later, I called Jenna up and said, "I have a blog! Read my first post!"

And the rest is history. And may I just say how funny it is that I actually thought that I wouldn't have anything to say in my blog. I think I have enough to say. Ahem. No comments on that please. Thanks, Jenna for turning me on to the world o' blog.

Oh!! The theme for Foody Friday is Grilling Fare. All things outdoors. All things grill-y.

'Tis the season!

See you Friday!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reflections on Mother's Day Part 1

So, I'm not a day late. Not even two. I'm a stinkin' THREE days late!

We've been busy with family in town, had a great weekend in the fun and family department, but not so good for my blogging bone. I fell into bed exhausted each night, with no brain cell left to type.

So... now that your Mother's day sentiments are packed away, I'm going to ask that you pull them back out again. Humor me?

There is a thought whirring about in my head, and I must attempt to unpack it somehow. It all began with one very small exchange between my hubby and my visiting family member (VFM), whom I love dearly. Thoughts tend to take a snowball effect in my little head. So, strap in, and hang on. It went something like this:


(Excited kids running around being sweet, albeit somewhat LOUD)

(Mommy and Daddy smiling, enjoying our children)
(VFM looking a wee bit pained)

Daddy: (In all sincerity) What would we do without kids?

(Mommy loving Daddy sooo much right then)

VFM: Umm... (snickers)... well... (snickers...)


So the whirring began.

Are children a means to an end? Do we not appreciate them in their childish state simply because they are exhausting? Simply because they are sometimes foolish and in need of correction?

Do we appreciate our self-centered lives so much that we see young children as a burden?

Does this attitude so permeate our society that we are not exempt from it?

If I'm honest with myself, I'm there some of the time. My selfish spirit looks at my kids as a burden a lot of the time.

Psalm 127:3-5
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!

In an article I read on this topic, the author re-words this verse into a (tongue-in-cheek) modern day version:

Lo, children are a burden from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb must be his way of testing us. As the source of endless work and continual aggravation, so are the children of one’s youth. Unhappy is the man who hears his neighbor ask, “Do all those kids belong to you?”

Isn't that just a riot? It hit my funny bone. And my sad bone. Cause, it... umm... hits a little too close to home.

So, here's the thought to make you go hmmm...

I could not be a mother without my children. They are the very beings that make me a mother. So, is Mother's day about ME? (If you look at my house on a typical Mother's Day, you will say, yes! It's about ME. Because I don't lift a finger all day. I don't cook. I don't clean. I take a nap if I want... and the list goes on. ) All good things... but, what am I escaping from? Am I getting a "break" from my "burden"? Or a "hooray" for my sacrifice? (Please note: I am NOT suggesting we change our Mother's Day tradition. Please don't. I love it.) I'm just pondering what my heart's attitude is behind it.

I am a firm believer that the "Martyr Mom Syndrome" is a dangerous disease indeed, one I suffer from on occasion. It's possible to take this all too far - "Since children are a blessing, and they aren't a burden, Moms shouldn't need breaks, I can do it all and should do it all with no help, and if I ask for help then I'm not enjoying my kids and I'm being selfish and I'm not a good mother". This is not what I'm going after, ok? Sorry for the disclaimer. Just gotta cover my bases. :)

I want to enjoy my children.
I want to enjoy being their mother.
I want my kids to feel enjoyed.
Yes disciplined, yes trained, yes loved, but... enjoyed.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Foody Friday - I'm a spice girl

Now we're talking.

1.any of a class of pungent or aromatic substances of vegetable origin, as pepper, cinnamon, or cloves, used as seasoning, preservatives, etc.
from dictionary.com

I like pungent, aromatic substances of vegetable origin. I like them a latte.

So, I'm half Mexican. Hola. Not really, but I grew up 30 minutes from the Mexican border and I live love Mexican food. I could make just about every staple food with a mexican twist. Seriously.

Salad? Mix salsa with Ranch or Caesar dressing, lettuce, red pepper, olives, tomato, avocado. Bingo. Mexican salad.

Eggs? Onion, green pepper, tomato, scrambled eggs. Serve with avocado.

Soup? Add salsa. garnish with avocado.

Sandwich? Add avocado and cilantro.

Notice an avocado trend? I likey de avocados.

Hubby has a serious addiction to taco shop Carne Asada Burritos. This is how you make one:

Drive to your local hole-in-the-wall Alberto's Taco Shop #3 (or any taco shop that looks like a dive and makes you wonder if they really are serving beef, or if it might be some other small domesticated animal...) and order one. It will cost you $3.05 and it will weigh at least 3 pounds. And it will be the best thing that has ever touched your tongue.

Oh, wait. This plan will only work if you live in Southern California. And I'm thinking about 1% of my readership lives in Southern California. So, if you are in the other 99%, then I have an alternative.

These are very authentic "baja" style tacos.

Carne Asada for Tacos adapted from a recipe from Allrecipes.com

3 pounds flank steak
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

1 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced

1 (32 ounce) package corn tortillas
Jarred mexican red salsa
2 cups grated cotija cheese (optional)
2 limes, cut into wedges

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, juice of two limes, and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika. Whisk until well blended, then pour over the steak in a large glass dish. Turn over once to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and marinate for 1 to 8 hours.

In a small bowl, stir together 1 chopped white onion, cilantro, and the juice of 1 lime. Set aside to use as a relish for the tacos.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the marinated flank steak into cubes or strips. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated. (I have also grilled the whole steak on the grill, and then sliced after it was cooked. )

Warm the tortillas in a skillet for about a minute on each side to make them pliable. Tortillas may also be warmed in a microwave oven. Arrange two or three tortillas on a plate, and lay a generous amount of beef over them. Top with a sprinkle of the onion relish and a large spoonful of salsa (**try to find authentic Mexican pureed-style red salsa, not the chunky kind... Don't pick up the Pace). Add as much cheese as you like. Garnish with lime wedges, and serve.


Remember to comment here if you linky! And remember to leave your (recipe name) in the name field!

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Days and Praise and Glaze

I had one of those days today.

Freezer catastrophe, gas leak, Dr's appointment that was not fun. ahem., various and assorted small things that made me want to throw something. You know the kind of day? Thankfully, mercifully, these days do not happen all that often. I will write about the freezer catastrophe some day soon. I'm. not. ready. yet. Still. too. fresh. Must. go. throw. something.

With all of the struggles in the day, God gave me some beautiful things.

A gorgeous day that melted some of my tension away...

A sweet friend who made my day without even knowing it...

A HI-larious little boy who played peek-a-boo and melted my heart clear down to my toesies...

A little twinkle-toed little girl who showed grace and art...

A brown-eyed girl whose smile warmed my insides...

A lifelong friend and hubby extraordinaire who made my heart burst...

Psalm 150 - which made my heart sing...

Love it how in the emotion of a bad day, I have even more capacity to praise God, because my emotions are already right there, at the surface. Thank You, Lord, for giving me the Psalms to read today.


We interrupt this explosion of feelings of thankfulness to bring you an important message:

(How's that for the lousiest transition evah?)

I must give y'all a Foody Friday category. Let's go with spicy food. Not necessarily HOT food, but something with a kick. No tater tot casserole here. Think ethnic, or barbecue, or Mexican (I guess that's ethnic, but it's a whole category on it's own, ain't it?), or even herb-y. Have fun with it.

See you on Friday!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What a wonderful...

Weekend! Sing with me now...

Hubby was out of town this past weekend (He's trying to find our bend. We haven't found it yet, in case you're wondering...). So, to be a bit spontaneous, I called up Aunt Dawn, and invited myself over for a sleepover. And I brought all of my children. Can you see how amazing my Auntie Dawn is? She willingly, even happily allowed her home to be infiltrated with little urchins for a weekend. AND, even moreso, her sweet hubby, Lee, put up with all of the above with not a word of complaint (except that he did accidentally back his car into mine in the driveway while we were there... maybe he was trying to tell me something?? Haha).

Really, we had SO much fun. (At least I did!) I stayed up way too late and then got up way too early. Just like a sleepover should be. Well, at least the staying up late part. The getting up early part, well... not necessarily like a sleepover should be, but hey... that comes with the children territory.

On Sunday afternoon, Dawn and I picked Great Grandma up from the hospital and took her to the thrift store and we shopped!

I haven't talked about Grandma in a while. She is doing awesome. She's coming home from the hospital tomorrow!! She is able to walk mostly on her own, getting stronger every day. What a woman. The biggest obstacle for her is some damage done to her throat by the ventilator tube while she was in the ICU. It has been a challege, because her "swallower" isn't working quite right, and if she tries to eat, the food sometimes goes down the wrong "tube", into her lungs. So the prayer request is for her throat to heal so she can get off the tummy tube and back on real food.

The doctor gave her permission to go shopping, so off we went...

I love how Ava is cuddling up to Grandma. They just adore her. (Or is she shielding herself from the wind...? Let's go with cuddling.)

Isaac fell asleep in the car, and when we got there, I thought, "Let's put a blanket in the bottom of the cart, and let's just see if he'll stay asleep." Didn't really think it would work.

That was one tiny cart, but he slept soundly for an hour! Woohoo!

On our way out of the thrift store parking lot, Grandma spotted a garage sale sign and wanted to go, so we did that, too!

What a woman, I say!

I'm not blood related to her (she's hubby's Grandma), but I definitely got her thrift/garage sale shopping gene. However that works.

After the shopping excursion, we went back to Dawn and Lee's and spent some time outside, let Lee grill for us, and enjoyed the afternoon.

What a weekend.

The sign of the times

is "MORE".

Mostly for "more food". But sometimes for "more tickle".

Starring Uncle Lee and Isaac.

Note: Remember this declaration of my family's nonstop requests for food? This video has a little bonus snippet at the very end... Listen for it... a little voice...

Did you hear the bonus at the end? Watch it again if you didn't and listen. It's the best part.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Overheard on the phone to daddy:

"You know that my favorite hotel is the one with the number 8 on the sign? That's my favorite fancy hotel. Is that the hotel that you're staying at right now, Daddy? Oh. (sounding sad). It's not? Oh."

Poor Daddy.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Foody Friday - Desserts

Duh-duh-dessert. Oh yeah. Alright. Uh-huh.

Do you see me dancing as I chant that? Do you? Do you?

I have to confess I'm feigning excitement. I know, I know... what is wrong with me? It is sane and normal to be a sweet-lover... I'm more the popcorn, Doritos-loving type. I eat dessert... don't get me wrong. I just don't necessarily crave and LOVE them.

Not so my Mocha-loving hubs. He is a dyed-in-the-wool sweetie. Pun intended. Poor guy has said "Is there anything sweet to eat?" after dinner for 11 years. Almost every night.

And I hand him a bag of chocolate chips.

I love you, honey. I'm sorry. Thank you for still loving me.

But every so often, I do get a hankering to bless my husband and children and put a few pounds on myself, and I make a nice big batch of something. It's usually Chocolate Chip Cookies, that's the favorite. And we use the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Don't worry, I won't bore you with that recipe.

Just made something new. THESE were good. With a scintilla of spice. Mmmm.... I tweaked a recipe to make it a wee bit more healthy... and it be goooood.

The chefs. In their cute aprons made by friend Heather.

And... the secret of this recipe... make sure you "smash" the eggs with a potato masher. These will not taste right if you don't follow Corene's example.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 minutes until light and golden. Do not over bake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Did I remember to take a picture of the final product. Ah. No. And it's too late now. They are


Happy Foody Friday! Don't forget to leave a comment if you linky! And put the title next to your name!! Don't follow Auntie Dawn's example. She was doing this at midnight. :oP