Friday, August 14, 2009

New Cookie Recipe

This week I have tinkered with two cookie recipes. The first one is the toll house cookie recipe. I made the toll house recipe like normal except these three things. I used half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. In another cookie recipe I made months back the recipe it called for dark corn syrup to help make them chewier. So in the toll house recipe I added a tablespoon of dark corn syrup. Finally, I added a tablespoon of coffee. What??? Yep coffee (brewed coffee from earlier in the day). It helped make them more flavorful with adding a touch of color. I didn't taste the coffee but I felt it added a richness in flavor.

Today, I made another cookie recipe for oatmeal cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup of butter flavored shorting. I usually use real butter for cookies but shortening seems to work better in this recipe.

1 cup of sugar (I tend to like my cookies a little less sweet so I don't fill the cup all the way to the top)

1 cup of brown sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

2 eggs

Cream together above ingredients

In separate bowl I combined these dry ingredients

1/2 cup of whole wheat flour

1 cup of all purpose flour

1 tsp. of baking soda

1/s tsp of salt

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 Tlbs of flax seed (adds a nice pop and is great for you)

Add dry ingredients to wet and blend

Fold in 3 cups of Old Fashioned Oats (they give a better texture to the cookie)

Fold in one bag of cinnamon chips (this was the first time I used them and we loved them) or chocolate chips, or raisins.

Bake at 375 for 11 minutes

The things I added were, flax seed, whole wheat flour, and cinnamon chips. These cookies have a nice thin layer of crunch on top and are chewy in the middle. Oh, so good.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Emma Turns 5!!!

My sweet little girl turns 5 today. Yesterday, we went to Chuck E Cheese and she ate up every ounce of attention they gave her, she loved it!!! Today on our way to church Emma says, "Mom, now that I know Chuck E Cheese is real can I meet the real Mickey Mouse?" I told her he lives far away. She said, "I know but today is MY BIRTHDAY!" We talked about being grateful for what she did get and I told her maybe some day we could go see the real Mickey Mouse. She then said, "I will be content...whatever that means." She is too funny. I feel like I need to carry around a tape recorded and tape all of our hilarious conversations.

I am so grateful that God gave Emma to our family!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Family Photo's

I have a few things...well...more than a few that cause stress in my life. But the top two are cutting my children's hair or having it done and getting their pictures done. I am so grateful to have an awesome friend that is ooober patient and amazes me with her ability to make the most of a hard situation. Yesterday, we went to WSU for a photo shoot but before we left I knew it was going to be hard. Buddy and Emma were allowed to stay up late the night before and were in tears all morning. But Stephanie was able to get some really cute pictures of the kids. This one of Buddy is one of my favorites.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

After the Garage Sale Soup!

My sister called me this morning telling me about a great garage sale put on a group of Christian carpenters. So we zipped into action and dressed as fast as we could and hit the sale. It was a really great one if only I had more cash on hand I could have filled a truck. But seeing that I need to clean out my garage it is probably a good thing that I didn't buy all that stuff. I did get a card table and chairs for $8, and end table for $8, a stool, a cake carrier, and the kids got a few toys. All that to say by the time we came home everyone was oober hungry.

I misplaced my eat for health cook book so I had to come up with something off the top of my head. This is what I came up with.

*I took for carrots and a cup and a half of water and blended it in my blender until it became a soup base.
* 1 cup of red lentils
* 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
* 2 cups of chopped broccoli florets
* about a cup of chopped carrots
* a bunch of green onions finely chopped
* 2 kale leaves (I actually used it, whoo hoo)
* Tbsp pepper
* Tbsp oregano
* about a cup of prepared creamy carrot soup (left overs)
* about a cup of corn (I don't recommend corn for nutrition but my kids love it)
(If I made this again I would have added fresh rosemary and bay leaves)

I cooked it about 20 minutes or so and then put more than half of it back into the blender and blended, blended, blended.

My kids had seconds! This is truly miraculous. My kids have really struggled with all of this new food and I have started to get really run down with all of the complaining and special orders. I think their taste buds are adjusting and they are starting to get the into the groove of it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Faux Taco's

After striking out day after day with feeding the fam food they will actually eat I finally hit a home run with diner tonight. We spent the day with some friends that are eating like we are. Shannon, the mom, warmed up refried beans and spread them on romaine lettuce leaves. Then she topped it with cut up veggies. The kids loved it! So this was my twist and adaptation of what I had on hand. I made a faux taco's...well I guess that is what I call them.

I used romaine lettuce leaves for shells.
I cooked up some chicken and used only half the taco seasoning.
I rinsed and then warmed up a can of kidney beans.
I cut up the usual toppings for taco's: tomatoes, avocado's, onions, jalapeno peppers, and then added more veggies. I lightly steamed broccoli and added thinly sliced carrots.

My kids went nuts. It may be that this meal was close to something they actually recognize that they like it so well. Whatever reason I know that I will be making this again.

I thought I would share it with you and maybe you can make some kind of adaptation to something you already add more veggies and fruit and surprise you family with a healthier alternative!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Great Soup!

I made this soup the other day. It is so stinkin' tasty I can't believe I made it. You have to try it! I am looking forward to making this for company.

4 cups of prepared tomato soup, natural or organic, no or low sodium
2 cups of broccoli florets
2 cups of prepared carrot soup
1 cup of chopped onions
4 cans of beans (you can use your favorite) I used white kidney, red kidney, and red beans
3 fresh tomatos chopped
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 bunch of fresh basil chopped
1/2 cup of raw cashews nuts
1 teaspoon of olive oil

In a large soup pot saute onions until golden. Combine all the ingredients except cashews.

Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes
Blend in a blender 1/4 or cooked soup with most of the cashew nuts and add back into the soup.

Serve with a sprinkling of raw cashews on top. Yummers!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Blender!!!

My sister has been very kind to let us borrow her blender until we could save up for the blender that we really wanted. We are so excited to have finally gotten it today.

We got it about 3pm and had a birthday party to go to at 4. So we hurried up and made smoothies before the party. You know was so great to be full of goodness before the temptation of pizza, pop, and cake came around. I did have some of the party yummies but not nearly as much as I would have with out our smoothies.

We came home and made ice cream and sherbet for desert with out new blender. It was super yummy and ohh so smooth!

I had and orange sherbet. I peeled an orange and added ice and splurged by adding a touch of sugar. It tasted even better than and Orange Julious!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Trying New Things

We are trying new things at our house right now trying to figure out what we really like in the fruit and veggie department. So at the store this afternoon I grabbed a couple of things that are high nutrient value. However, I don't really know how to best use them. The biggest stretch for us is kale! I really am uncertain how to use it. I know that kale nutrient value is the highest when cooked. Do any of you have any tried and true recipe's that use kale?

We also got some really tart nectarines and peaches. My first thought was to grill them to help them sweeten up. But I would like to know what you think. Do you have any idea's?

I finally remembered to buy ground flax and flax seed. I am so excited to have this around. I just had my first smoothie with ground flax and it was delish!

Trying new things all the time can be exciting but also a bit tiring. We aren't at a place yet where we have hit our stride. You know a place where you pull out a favorite recipe and you know it will be good. I have a moment of dread now every time I serve a meal wondering it the kiddos and hubs will eat it. But...that is all part of the process, right. You don't hit a home run every time! I did make a fantastic black bean soup the other day that I just love, and I just decided not to let it get to me that I am the only one eating it. Beans will grow on them in time...I hope.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Megan Soup

My kids have been asking for days to make Megan soup. You may be asking what is Megan soup. Well to be quite honest I am not quite sure. They explain it me me as this...

Megan gets in the tub with a swim suit, add toys, lots of water, and stir. That's it. No more ingredients. I don't know how long they want to cook her for, I guess until the wrinkles appear.

So right now in my bathroom the science experiment is commencing. They promised profusely that they wouldn't make a mess and that water wouldn't be everywhere.

We shall see, we shall see.

Anyway I hope they don't want diner too! I am tired just listening to the giggling and thumping around up there.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You've Got To Try This

This is my all time favorite smoothie. I have it almost every morning for breakfast and often times for lunch too!

Baby Spinach
Soy milk to help blend

and will soon be adding ground flax seed.

That is it.

I was so skeptical of the spinach. I have a few friends that said you couldn't really taste it. But I still wasn't sure about it so for my first few smoothies I did put much in. Now I am putting to large handful's in. It is so good and fills me up for hours!


Ahhhh So Frustrating!!!

I wrote a long blog entry yesterday and looked at it after I posted it. I go today to write another blog entry and the long one wasn't there!!! So if I have time I will try to recreate it. Have you ever had this happen?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eating for Health

I am so eager for my family to get healthy. I have been reading several books that have been really useful in teaching me about nutrition. I am by no means an expert in fact I feel less than a novice. But I am embarking and an adventure that is so very exciting.

I have struggled with depression since...well...I guess always. God worked amazing things in my life that has taken me out of the deepest of pits that I never thought I could climb out of. But it is still a struggle I face on a daily, hourly, and moment by moment basis. I have long thought that if I ate better and exercised that it would dramatically effect me.

Over the last year I have tried a few things but have felt they weren't enough and I wasn't able to keep up my motivation.

What I am doing now is so much more drastic and life changing than anything I have ever attempted.

I have been reading Dr. Fuhrman's books on health. I started reading Eat to Live, which is good. Now I am reading Eat for Health and I am really enjoying it. He makes some wild claims that eating in the healthy way that he suggests it can cure many ailments. I have to tell you I have been skeptical and Jason well he is beyond that. But with eating this way for a couple of weeks now I am feeling so much better it is beyond words.

I have gone all day not even realizing I forgot to drink my morning coffee. For you that know me very well know I don't function well without it. I am have been full, and enjoying the fact that I am taking care of the temple He provided me with.

We are attempting to take out all dairy, meat, and processed foods. Wild huh! Just taking dairy out is wild let alone meat and processed foods. We still have been having meat with diner most nights but that is about it. What got me was the fact he suggesting by not starting taking things away from your diet like meat, dairy, and processed foods but adding a pound of veggies and all the fruit you can eat. When you start with that your tummy doesn't have a lot of room for the other stuff. So it has been easier for us to let go of everything else.

I am really excited about this and wanted to share it with you. I know it has been forever and a day since I have blogged. But I am planning on sharing more of this process here with you. Until then...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pastor's Business Card

Pastor's Business Card

A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door.

Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote 'Revelation 3:20' on the back of it and stuck it in the door.

When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, 'Genesis 3:10.'

Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.' Genesis 3:10 reads, 'I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked.'

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Last night we went to Jason's parent's house for diner. As we were leaving the house I noticed Emma had shoes on with out socks and filed that away in my brain. I am so glad that I did because I wouldn't have been able to understand what she said on the drive. Emma piped up from the back seat, "Mom I've got blizzards". Blizzards...Blizzards...what is she talking about? Oh...blisters. She has blisters from her shoes without socks. Oh...

Sometimes I really feel like a genius when I can figure out what the kids are saying.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Word To The Wise

Jason is gone on a business trip so I am feeling for all the single moms out there right now. We did a half school day and then I took the kids through the drive-thru for sanity sake. Somehow I can hardly cook when he isn't here. I can't come up with meal idea's and the food just doesn't taste as good. Anyway I asked a sitter to come this afternoon so I could surprise Jason with a new hair cut and color when he returns. Actually this is a really good motivation to finally take care of my hair. So two seconds before the sitter comes I realize the entire house is permeated with the smell of Burgervile. Believe me Burgerville doesn't smell good after you've eaten it. Have you ever left it sit in your car and have that warm wafting smell overtake you when you get in. Ahhhh, not so wonderful as the taste. To solve this smell problem I grab the Febreze and try to lightly spray the house down. Yuck! Now the house was smelling of Burgerville flavored Febreze. Word to the wise don't try to cover up one smell with another when you don't have time to air it out! Oh well life goes on.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Laundry Game

I am always praying for fresh idea's to excite the kids about keeping our home. A couple of weeks ago the kids were tense and needing direction. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the 3 or 4 loads of laundry that needed folding. Suddenly I had an idea. We dumped the laundry out of the baskets onto the couch and cleared the coffee table. I told the girls I would shout out a type of clothing or color and when I said go they were to fold it as fast as they could and try to find as many other like items until they were all gone. Now the catch is they get points only for items that have been folded properly. At the end of each round I inspect the folded clothes and award points. At the end of the game whoever had the best sportsmanship gets an extra 5 points. Recently, I have started keeping a prize bowl for occasions such as these. So whoever won this load of laundry gets to get a prize, usually a new pencil, eraser, or stickers. The kids have been having a good attitude about laundry and now the quality of folding has drastically improved. I love it when He helps me with ideas.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Camel

Megan tells me this morning while she is supposed to being doing her school work, "I am thirsty as a camel!" I just look at her and she continues to say, "who has been in the desert for 4 days." I keep looking at her she says, "the camel needs a drink". I am thinking get a drink already. As she fills her glass with water she continues her narration and I slowly walk away. Silly girl!

She has a bit of a flare for the the dramatic.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


We found bunk beds and a dresser on Craigslist for Mel and Meg and picked them up on Saturday. My Mom and Dad kept the kids so we could pick it up in one trip. Jason and I enjoyed our quiet ride to Tigard to pick them up however, the ride home was not so lovely. Jason had to move my seat all the way up to fit everything into the van. I was praying we didn't get into a car accident but at the same time I was thinking my legs will be gone for sure and I will finally get the electric scooter I have always wanted. We made it home without incident but Jason may tell you that I whined a little.

The kids are thrilled beyond thrilled with their room change and new beds. Mel and Meg gave Buddy and Emma their old beds so now the little ones have big kids beds. Megan has the top bunk and Emma and Jason think she is uber cool. Emma is counting down the days till she gets a bunk bed or perhaps crying till the day she gets a bunk bed is a more accurate account.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Buddy has now decided his favorite food is 'sugar'. Several times a day he comes to me and asks for 'sugar'. I fear that I have passed on my sweet tooth to my son! Fortunately, I can direct him to an apple or orange most of the time to quiet his 'sugar' craving.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Did you know...

...that clouds are breakable?" asked Emma this evening. I looked at her with a questioning look. She went on to say, "You know when you sit on them they break apart."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Something You May Not Have Known

Emma said this evening, "Rocks aren't alive because they can't lay eggs."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Nice to meet you

Last night Jason and I were putting Buddy and Emma to bed. We prayed with the kids and as we attempted to leave the room Buddy stood up and started saying something I couldn't quite make out. He was saying it over and over again and gave me his hand. I thought he was trying a maneuver to get out of going to bed. I strained more to understand and I made out something that sounded like, "nice to beat you", or "nice to eat you". Finally I realized his outstretched hand was a handshake he was trying to say, "nice to meet you." He then shook Jason and my hand several times and told us, "nice to meet you," and laid down and went to sleep. Where did he get that? I don't know but now he thinks since we laughed that it is the funniest joke and has been saying all morning. So don't be alarmed if Buddy says, "nice to meet you," and you are his auntie or close family friend. It is his new joke.

Last week he was telling knock knock jokes. He is only 2 1/2, so they were mostly about doors and cats. However, they always ended in a really loud laugh on his end, and then ours.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just a few years ago...

Jason and I sailed away to an unknown land just weeks after we were married. We had no money, no possessions, no education, and no job experience, and truth be told we no prospects for any of those things. We were serving the Lord and ready for an adventure! What an adventure that would be!!!

For years I have felt the sting of the painful things that happened during that period of our life. I have worked towards healing and forgiveness. I came to a place where I felt that I was whole as I was going to be until we are with Jesus. But just recently I found some old friends on facebook with pictures of our time in Honduras that reminded me that it wasn't all suffering and painful. It is amazing to me that I have forgotten some really truly wonderful things because I had allowed pain to blind me and cause me to forget the good. The pain and suffering was real but so were the good times. My inabilaty to see this causes me to want to examin other area's of my life that I have seen as full of suffering and pain so I can see the good too!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sad Song

Today Jason and I were feeling a bit stir crazy and didn't really feel like cleaning the garage as we had planned. We were looking for a low cost high impact thing to do with the kids (minus Melanie, she is at the grandparents). So we decided to take the kids to Janzen Beach and ride the carousel and eat at the food court. They totally loved the ride but...then we had lunch. I was seated next to Buddy who had a full view of the carousel. He could not take a bite of his food he was so preoccupied with wanting back on the ride again. So we sat there trying to explain to him that we would not be going on the ride unless he ate his food. He didn't exactly eat so we decided to walk around the mall. Megan had money burning a hole in her pocket that she got for her birthday so we tried to find a store for her to find a special treasure. It has been so long since we have been to Janzen Beach I didn't realize that practically half of the stores were closed. Then, Emma really had to go potty. I sent her into her stall and then stood at the entrance of the bathrooms to see how Buddy was doing because he was still struggling with not getting to ride the carousel again. I look back into the bathroom to find Emma walking around with her pants around her ankles saying she can't go potty. The automatic flush kept going off and scarring her so bad that she could go. To make a long story short(er) she finally was able to go but Jason and I realized that this wasn't going well and it would be best if we headed home. As we headed to the car I heard Emma mumbling to herself so I asked her what she was saying. She said that she was singing. So I asked her what song she was singing so I could sing with her. She said, "Mom it's a sad song!" And truly it was.

We ended up coming home and started in on the garage, like we should have in the first place.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Megan

I have always loved New Years. Little did I know that New Years eve would always be a special day in our home. Nine years ago my second daughter Megan was born. She was born on the last day of the last century when Y2K threatened to overtake the world. What a treasure she has been to our family. Megan is more of a free spirit than I have encountered in most people. This girl loves to be silly, loves animals, and most recently loves to pretend she is a spy.

My sister kept calling me asking me when I was going to plan something for Megan's birthday this year but to be honest I was trying to recoup from "Arctic Blast 2008" and Christmas. Birthday plans were not in the foremost of my thoughts. So on December 30 Jason and I went to Costco. We got a cake, pizza, plates, cups, and 'Spyology' (the coolest book ever for want to be spy's). We invited grandparents, aunts, uncles, and Megan invited the neighbor kids over a couple hours before the pizza was ready. It went off pretty well but I do have to say planning does have a lot of possitives, like knowing what your doing, hehe.

I am still unable to download pictures so I pulled out some old ones from the last several months giving a visual example of the many sides of Megan, most of them are silly.