Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer's End

Today is the final day of August!
Tomorrow is September and I am suddenly thinking about fall. It is getting dark earlier and the nights have begun to cool down. I am ready to pull out my boots and try on my new leather jacket!
I am looking forward to soup and pumpkin bread. The kids are already preparing for Halloween.
This month I want to go apple picking, make applesauce, and have one last cookout. September will also bring Zackary's 1st birthday! What a wonderful year it has been.

I will say goodbye to August with this thought:

"Can you imagine what the world would be like if all the mothers in the world were exactly alike in how they behaved, in their approach to motherhood, and in the strengths and talents they shared with their families? I confess I feel great relief in knowing that we can each be our own kind of mom, a complete original unlike any other mother on the face of the planet. If we as mothers do something we absolutely love alongside raising children we absolutely love, we will almost guarantee that our children will be raised in an atmosphere steeped in joy."

-Debra Sansing Woods

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Monkey Bread

Max's kindergarten class has been working on the letter "M". One of the stories they read this week was "Five Little Monkeys". Max has been coming home with all sorts of monkey pictures and on Friday he left school wearing a monkey hat!
Today I decided to make some monkey bread. Max loved it. It was a big hit with all of my little monkeys :)

Monkey Bread

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
1 cup milk, warm
1/3 cup water, warm
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 package instant yeast
3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 teaspoons salt

Brown Sugar Coating:
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.

2. In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast. Mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with butter. Cover bowl and set in a warm place until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

3. For the sugar coating: While the dough is rising, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside.

4. To form the bread: Gently remove the dough from the bowl, and pat into a rough 8-inch square. Cut dough into 64 pieces.

5. Working one at a time, dip the pieces into the melted butter. Roll in the brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in the Bundt pan.

6. Cover the Bundt pan and place in warm place until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

8. For the glaze: While the bread cools, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a small bowl until the lumps are gone. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the monkey bread, letting it run over top and down the sides of the bread. Serve warm.

Sponge Relay!

I found the idea for this little race on the "I can teach my child" blog that I am loving!
I filled two bowls with 8 cups of water each. Max and Mia were each armed with a sponge. The goal was to use the sponge to carry as much water as possible from the large bowls to the smaller bowls that I had placed about 12 feet away.
The race began and they were both very diligent at soaking up water with their sponges.
When the sponges were filled they ran to the smaller bowls.
As you can see there was much water loss along the way.
They squeezed as much water as they could get out of the sponges into the bowls.
Then they ran back to the start and filled their sponges from the large bowls and repeated the process until the big bowls were empty.
They both worked really hard! We measured the water that made it into the smaller bowls. Max ended up with 5 1/2 cups of water. I thought that was great! Mia had a little less and finished with 4 cups of water, but that is still half of what she started with!
There was no cheating and they both enjoyed the little water race.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tough Stuff

It's hard work being a baby. It's downright exhausting!
After a busy morning spent eating teddy grahams and dancing to Beyonce, Zackary gave in and fell asleep on Ty's chair.
I love my little linebacker.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mia makes cupcakes

She really enjoyed putting the cupcakes together and creating different frosting, cake, and liner combinations.
Good enough to eat!
Almost :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daily Bread

Tuesday began with pancakes. Max and Mia love to roll up their pancakes with butter and powdered sugar and then to slice and eat them like little cinnamon rolls. It was a happy breakfast, but it lasted longer than it should have and we had to hurry to get Max to school on time. He made it! Mia had a play date with Desiree. She was so excited! This left just Zack at home. It was a good thing he was all I had because he was one seriously sad baby! Between his ears, his teeth, and his constant need for food, he was pretty unhappy. After much crying, some yogurt, and a little tylenol, Zac had a nap and felt a little better. I decided not to worry about housework and made cinnamon bread instead. Ree (aka the Pioneer Woman) had made some and posted about it on her blog and I thought it looked like just the thing. We sliced our cinnamon bread into thick slices and spread butter over the swirls. It was so delicious and I may have eaten half the loaf.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Banana Blues

I just picked up the "Baked" cookbook from our library and it does NOT include their recipe for Banana Cream Pie.
Oh well.
I am sure I can come up with something pretty close!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Zac attacks....

.....a poor defenseless cookie!
Max finished his lunchable and offered to share his cookies with Zackary. Zackary was very pleased.
He set himself up underneath my computer desk and had himself a happy cookie moment :)

Temple Trip

Ty and I were able to do a session at the Nashville temple this morning. The temple is in Franklin just next door to the stake center. It is a beautiful area full of green hills and farms.
I was so glad to be at the temple today. It is the best place to go with your favorite person :)
We are so glad to have had a temple so close while Ty was in school.
After the session we had a delicious cajun lunch at Cajun Steamer. We both had crawfish etouffee. Ty had a side of fries while I ordered fried green tomatoes.
It was a great date! It was relaxing and peaceful and rewarding. So glad we did it! (and thanks Chantelle for watching the kids!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Firefighters Save the Day!

The little kids, and their mommas, met up for a field trip at the Goodlettsville Fire Department.
Last year Max was with us. We missed him, but are glad he is having fun at school!
Mia was glad to have her friend, little miss Desiree, to play with.
I made Zackary sit on the back of a fire truck so that I could get a picture. He was not amused.
The firefighters did a great job with our tour. We got to see the "dorms" where everyone sleeps. They keep the rooms at about 60 degrees! It was obvious a bunch of men were living there!
Mia sat with Dallon and Desiree on the big truck.
We got to see the stations new fancy engine. They call it the Ferrari Inferno. Very cool :)

While we were looking at the trucks the firefighters got a call and were on the truck and gone in less than a minute! They move fast!
It made for a great tour though!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Counting My Blessings :)

Ty just left for work. It is his last night shift at Baptist hospital! Hurray!
Tomorrow night we are getting pizza and hangin' with friends. It has been a long time since we have ordered pizza and I am so looking forward to it. Tomorrow is also FRIDAY! Just one more school day for Max this week. Saturday Ty and I are headed to the temple! It has been too long and I can't wait to walk through the temple doors. My speaking assignment was moved back from this Sunday until the 29th and I am really glad about having the extra time. Next week we are meeting with Zac's ENT. I am hoping this will result in tubes and better sleep for all!
Lots of Joy!

Cookie Dough?

In cupcake form!

These chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes were birthday treats for Max.
They are pretty awesome. I was a little disappointed with the last cake I made. I thought that it was a little dense and heavy. With this recipe I used cake flour and the result was a very light and fluffy, very buttery, cupcake. I was very pleased!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup flour (I used cake flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the Frosting:
1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup flour ( I know this seems odd, but the result is a frosting that tastes just like cookie dough!)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the cupcakes: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
Combine the butter with the brown sugar, and cream until fluffy. Mix in the eggs.
Combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and scoop into cupcake liners. Bake about 15 minutes.

To make the frosting: Beat the butter and the brown sugar until creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar. Beat in flour, vanilla, and salt.
Frost cupcakes and decorate with chocolate chips. ( I used regular sized chips, but I think the mini would have worked better!)

He's Funny!

Zackary found a little basket and put it on his head.
It made me laugh. He liked that it made me laugh and so he continued to wear the little basket.
I continued to laugh.
I love my little basket head boy!

He then walked through the house all basket-headed, hoping to inflict laughter on all who saw him.

Holy Moly!

Did anyone else see the banana cream pie throwdown on Food Network last night?
Am I the only weirdo really into it?
Anyway...Bobby Flay competed against the boys from "Baked". Their banana cream pie looked so awesome. I have requested their cookbook, again, from the library so that I can make me some banana cream pie!
Until then I will buy many bananas and patiently wait.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Spirituality is not acquired suddenly. It is the consequence of a succession of right choices. It is the harvest of a righteous life."
-Dallin H. Oaks

A Max Post

(I know it looks like Tony Stark, but it's just Max!)
School is in full swing!
Max is loving kindergarten. He has all sorts of things to tell me about when I pick him up. I am so glad for all that he is learning and that he is having a great time too!
We celebrated Max's birthday on Saturday, but tomorrow is his actual birthday. He will be 5!
Max is a superhero to me. He is a great helper at home. He is very creative and super artistic. He says corn is his favorite food, and he loves chocolate chip cookies (without nuts!).
Max loves his friends and singing in primary. He is very social and hates to be bored! Onward and Upward Max!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Superhero Squad

Today we celebrated Max's 5th birthday!
We threw a superhero themed party and invited lots of friends.
The little superheros all wore capes and flew around the party.
There were party bags filled with party goodies.
Party games like the kryptonite toss, pin the super symbol on superman, and target shooting.
And of course there was cake!
I thought that maybe I had accidentally bought trick candles, because it took Max a bit of huffing and puffing to blow them all out.
Max and Connor eating cookies and cream superman cake.
Finally Max got to open his presents. He had a very happy day :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sneak Peak

Tomorrow is the big birthday bash!
I am not a cake decorator, but I made a valiant effort and the cake looks a bit like superman! The cake is cookies and cream and the frosting is vanilla buttercream. It should be super awesome.

Brothers vs. Sisters

I come from a family of four children. Of those four I am the only girl. I always felt like I missed out on something special because I didn't have a sister. I longed for someone who I could share secrets and clothes with. I looked forward to college and sharing an apartment with other girls that I could become close to. After I married Ty I inherited several sister in laws, but I still felt like I missed out by not growing up with sisters.
I now have three beautiful children; two boys, and one precious little girl. The other day I was feeling just awful that she didn't have a sister. I was almost in mourning over the fact that she had no one to share being a girl with in our home.
At this point something remarkable happened. I was given a little insight. For the first time in my life I appreciated brothers. I felt very lucky to have grown up in a house of somewhat sticky and huge boys. I suddenly recognized that while I was feeling like I had missed out on some important life experience I had forgotten to notice the blessings I had been given.
My older brother, Josh, is quiet and soft spoken. He is obedient and always does what is required of him. He is a loyal friend, and while we did not get along growing up I now greatly admire him and appreciate his willingness to forgive and accept me as I am.
My younger brother, Joel, is not at all quiet or soft spoken. He is loud and more than willing to make his opinions known to the world. Growing up we were very close. Joel is working on making his place in the world, and I am excited to see where he ends up.
My youngest brother, Jamison, is the tallest in spite of being the youngest. He is 6"6. He is always happy and ready to rejoice in my little victories. He is kind and very funny. He gives me energy when I talk to him.
I am grateful to have grown up with some wonderful brothers and I am glad to still have them as friends.
I am glad Mia has some great brothers to take care of her. I hope they will be some of her great friends as well.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fun Freebie!

I found the cutest little create a cupcake printables:


On a blog called Volume 25 run by a girl named, Jessica (go figure!)
I printed these up and I think they would be great fun at Mia's third birthday party in October!

First Day!

Max is off to kindergarten!
He ate a good breakfast and got himself dressed. What a big day!
Max found his seat at his table. We put his backpack and lunch in his locker. He was calm and ready to go. I hope he has a wonderful day and meets some great new friends. Good luck Max!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Twas the night before kindergarten

Max starts school in the morning!
I really can't believe it. I am so excited for him. Last night at kindergarten kickoff we met his teacher and got to see his classroom. It will be a challenge to get out the door each morning, but I think we can do it! We celebrated the occasion with peanut butter blondies. Max thinks they are awesome. Ty gave Max a father's blessing and then I had him give the other kids blessings too, because I didn't want them missing out!
I hope tomorrow is a wonderful day for Max. I know he will do great!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I am so thankful for prayer.
How lucky and blessed we are to have been given a direct line of communication with our Father in Heaven.
I love that we can pray any time of day at any place. I love that we can pray always in our hearts.
There is so much that I find the need to pray about. I want to thank my Heavenly Father for wonderful blessings. For an awesome family and for my Savior. I want to ask Him for things I feel that I need and desire. Help through trials and blessings for my children. I pray for my own family and for others. I pray for people I know well and for those that I don't know at all. Sometimes I read about a tragic accident or here about someone's hardship. I can feel powerless, but the Lord has all power and I can offer a simple prayer. I can ask Heavenly Father to bless and comfort where comfort is needed. Prayer keeps me grounded. It calms me and comforts me. I am thankful that we can ask for help; that we do not have to carry our burdens alone. I am thankful that the Savior suffered all things for us. I know he understands all things that happen on this earth. I trust that He loves us and will help strengthen us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

For the love

of Peanut Butter :)

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup finely chopped, salted pretzels
dark chocolate (for melting and dipping)

Mix the peanut butter and pretzel pieces. Chill in the freezer until workable. Shape peanut butter mixture into little balls and allow to chill once more. Melt chocolate. Dip peanut butter balls into chocolate. Allow chocolate to set and enjoy some peanut butter happiness!

A few things.....

....You may not know about me

I like to drive my yellow SUV fast

I listen to rock music

I choreograph dances in my head while I listen to rock music

When I try to dance it never turns out the way it looks inside my head

I don't like cheesecake

I love a challenge

I think Mondays are great because everything is new again and I love a fresh start

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Butterfly Day

We drove out to Wilderness Station in Murfreesboro this morning so that the kids could learn all about butterflies. There were lots of volunteers that showed us all sorts of caterpillars and cocoons.
Max got to hold a Monarch on his arm and then we walked through the butterfly gardens.
Mia made a caterpillar that opens up and turns into a butterfly. Hopefully now she can make a connection between the two.
After our butterfly expedition we headed out on a little nature walk. The park was really beautiful.
It was the perfect day to walk and explore. We are having a tiny break from the humidity so while it is still hot, at least it is bearable.
After our brief walk the kids were thirsty and tired. We had a cooler in the car full of drinks and after some hydration we found a great playground.
Zackary made himself comfortable in the shade and played with the wood chips.
Max and Mia ran like crazy until their little faces were red. We enjoyed our happy little escape and now I am ready to take on the rest of the weekend!