Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two New Favorite Things

A beautiful quilt made by my Grandma.

A huge framed picture purchased by my Grandpa Blake for the Primitive Baptist Church many years ago. When the church changed, he had the pictures returned to him & it has been in a closet for many, many years. He died when he was 39. so I never met him...but it is wonderful to have a piece of our family.



I am soooo tired and am heading to bed soon. Much to catch up on tomorrow. Thanks for the prayers.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stepping Out for a Bit

The boys made a wrestling mat of various pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, etc.

In a few moments, I will be finishing up with packing. My dad, mom, Aunt B & I are heading to southern Indiana to clear out my Grandma's house.

Please pray for us, especially my mom & aunts. This is the house where they spent their childhood and called home away from home. Lots of stuff to bind up, prep for sale, throw out and reminisce over.

Have a wonderful weekend-I will be back Wednesday!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I have often heard people gripe about bad sellers on craigslist, but that had never been my experience. Well, that all changed today.

Listed was dress form last week for $80 OBO. My first offer was rejected and after some negotiations, the seller emailed me last night to accept $50.

She requested that I drive to pick it up at 7pm.

Our whole family rolled up to the house (in SUGAR GROVE!-40 minute drive!) at 7pm and we waited until 7:45. The seller had my number, a confirmation email, etc. No show:(

Sigh. I have been saving for one for my etsy store & was disappointed.

However, I realize there are huge disasters and hurts going on in the world much bigger than my craigslist drama. Although I do wish that common courtesy had been shown & the seller could have phoned me. She sent me an email late tonight explaining that she went to dinner and forgot or something like that....

Needless to say, she lost the sale.

Looking on the bright side, we had a mini spring break treat & took the boys to the new Chick-Fil-A by Fox Valley on our ride home. T leaves for his father's house on Saturday for spring break & we miss him terribly even though he hasn't left yet.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Butter Pecan Biscotti

Tart Cherry & Toasted Hazelnut

Butter Pecan Biscotti

Yes, still on our biscotti kick.

We changed up a basic recipe on & really liked the results. T was a great help, he toasted the pecans and stirred the butter to make sure that it didn't burn. The result was a very simple, mildly sweet biscotti that held its shape well. My parents came for dinner and we served the biscotti for dessert; it stood up to the coffee dunking of my dad, E & me.

I am thinking I may tweak this a bit more and add some toffee bits...mmmm.

Here is our new recipe. Sooo easy & I like the fact that the whole lot of biscotti only contained 1/2 cup of butter.

Butter Pecan Biscotti

1 stick butter

1 cup brown sugar (loosely packed)

3 1/4 cup flour, sifted

3 eggs

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 Tbs. vanilla

1 tsp. salt

1/2-1 cup pecans, toasted

*In heavy saucepan, cook butter until browned. (It will smell nutty). Pour browned butter into small bowl to cool. When cooled, mix butter & brown sugar. Add eggs & vanilla and mix well. Slowly mix in dry ingredients. Chop pecans and add last.

Line baking sheet with parchment. Divide dough into two equal parts. Press onto cookie sheet and shape into 2 long rectangles. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 28 minutes. Watch that they do not brown excessively.

Remove from oven and slide parchment off baking sheet. Let "loaves" cool on parchment then slice into biscotti. Return to fresh parchment-lined baking sheet and bake addition 7-9 minutes. Cool & enjoy.

Charlie was my helper today, too. While the other guys were cleaning the garage, we planted heirloom tomato seeds in little peat pots. They are covered and sitting atop the fridge where it's warm. Exciting to think that in just a couple of months, they will be growing steadily in our garden.

Thankful for tomatoes, husband, children, parents, and spring!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fun Project

T is home from school today for teacher's report writing and Charlie is battling a cough, runny nose. We dropped off packages at the post office & stopped at Westbrook for some produce. While Charlie watched a video, T & I tackled a project that I have been wanting to try.

You have probably seen the beautiful flower embellishments on bags, headbands, brooches, etc. There are many tutorials online on how to make these, so we made a multi-layered flower pin in just under 10 minutes.

Old rayon or satin fabric (ours was a recycled chemise-25cents at thrift store)
lighter or matches
tongs or tweezers
needle & thread
T cut the fabric into several concentric circles, ranging in size from about 3" to 1".

Using tongs to hold each fabric circle (over sink), we lightly singed the edges until they curled in like petals.

We stacked our singed circles and sewed a vintage button in the center. I then attached to a pin so I can wear it on my sweater if I want. Maybe I will fasten to a hair elastic. It would look cute over a low ponytail. We may make a bunch to attach to the etsy items that I ship from my store. I have been making bags from pretty fabrics for their shipping.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Cookies

My sous-chef, Charlie, helped me make some new cookies this morning. A lonely bag of cinnamon chips in the deep freeze inspired me to try out the recipe on the back of the bag. We did omit the raisins since T doesn't like them, but the end result was yummy. I froze about 75% of the dough (scooped into cookie balls) so that we could have warm cookies for lunches, dessert, etc. These would look really good with a little drizzle of vanilla icing and it would complement the cinnamon roll flavor.
In addition to the cookies, we made toasted hazelnut & toffee biscotti. Never let your 2 year old help skin the hazelnuts after you toast them. He clapped his hands to get the papery peels off after we rubbed them in a towel. There are brown flakes everywhere!
Happy Friday!
Turning off my phone, turning on the electric blanket and reading a big pile of books to my little helper before we both have a little nap.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-10oz. pkg. Hershey's cinnamon chips
Cream butter & sugars. Add eggs & vanilla and mix well. Combine flour & baking soda; mix into wet ingredients. Stir in oats & chips. Scoop out small walnut sized balls. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

God is so good

When my husband began his new job, we prayed that he would be a light at his job & win others for the Lord.

He called me today & told me that one of his coworkers spoke with him & put his trust in God.

We are so thankful for this encouraging & exciting answer to a prayer we began in August!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Philippians 2:14

"Do everything without grumbling or complaining".

I am working on making this my goal for the spring. Do people see joy and passion for God when they meet me? Or do they hear me complaining about the little things....

Hopefully it's not the latter, but know that it sometimes is.
So, I am heading to bed on this beautiful Sunday with the determination to be thankful.

What are you thankful for?
p.s. I am grateful for my two little boys (10 and 2) in the picture above.