Month: May 2012
I tried a new cake recipe (Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookie Cake) for my girls’ bible study potluck tonight. It was a huge hit and very easy to make (only seven ingredients). I only made it home with the one piece I promised to save for Alex. (He told me I should bring him two, but I’m just going to cut one in half!)
1pkg. (2-layer size) devil’s food cake mix
4squares BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
12 OREO Cookies, coarsely crushed
1. Heat oven to 350ºF.
2. Prepare cake batter and bake in 2 (9-inch) round pans as directed on package. Cool cakes in pans 10 min. Invert onto wire racks; gently remove pans. Cool cakes completely.
3. Microwave chocolate and butter in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 min. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gently stir in COOL WHIP and crushed cookies.
4. Place 1 cake layer on plate, spread with cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread top with chocolate glaze; let stand 10 min. or until firm. Keep refrigerated.
Alex has been working on a reason to use a mustache band-aid for weeks. Today he finally scraped his foot.
Alex and I decided to try out our new pool passes! The pool opened yesterday and we couldn’t wait to play. Our neighbors came too and everyone had a great time.
Then we had a great visit with an old friend (who I haven’t seen since 2009). My friend from GSP, Edie, and her boyfriend are traveling around the US for a year. For a few days they are near Milwaukee so we met up for dinner. We had a great time catching up – until Alex loudly announced he was ready to go home. He’d been amazing and it was past his bedtime so we wrapped it up.
We made our first trip to the pool for the summer!
What holiday would be complete without a parade? We joined our neighbors at the Elm Grove Memorial Day Parade. The boys played cars and ate ice cream until the parade started. Then they had fun watching and waving. It was pretty hot so Alex hopped in the pool as soon as we got home.
Wade and my Dad spent the day working on our ceiling. The plan is to install pull-down stairs to our attic (versus the small, movable panel we have now). At the end of the day they had corrected a few problems with existing joists, built and installed the frame, and cleaned up most of the mess. Hopefully later this week Wade will actually install the stairs.
Watching a thunderstorm.
Alex was quite adamant that B should read his book and put him down for his nap.
I had a very profitable weekend. Two items I have been trying to sell on craig’s list for months (and months and months) both sold this weekend – our jogging stroller and a pedestal sink (bought for the bathroom but it was too tall). Clearing those out of the garage prompted a little spring cleaning and some new shelves for organizing.
(This cleaning and organizing also provides a big area for Wade to work on Alex’s new bed.)
This Playmobil catalog came yesterday and Alex has spent hours pouring over it and adding things to his Birthday and Christmas list.
I was cooking in the kitchen when Alex suddenly appeared, pantsless, and with his guitar.
Today we went to Homestead Animal Farm, courtesy of Tour Group. The kids were very excited that the farmer looked like a farmer (overalls and all). He started the tour by talking about chickens and letting all the kids hold a chick (I now want chickens and even have Wade convinced.) Then we moved to the barns to visit the turkeys, miniature donkeys, goats, pygmy goats, sheep, etc.
Note the second picture where Alex has his pout face because Abby isn’t sharing her snack (Alex had the same snack but had already eaten his).
Flying the helicopter!
When I happen upon a recipe that looks interesting, I tear it out of a magazine and put it in a file folder. When I am looking for new recipes I check the file folder. I was thinking about a dessert to take to Wednesday dinner at church tomorrow and happened upon this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. (I was amused to note that the date on the page was 2008. I’ve obviously had this one a while.)
Makes: 10 servings
Prep: 40 mins
Bake: 350°F 45 mins
Cool: 30 mins
1 rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust (1/2 of a 15-oz. pkg.)
1 tablespoon raw sugar or coarse sugar
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pastry and line 9-inch pie plate. In bowl combine raw sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Brush melted butter over crust. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.
2. For syrup, in saucepan combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, the water, corn syrup, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Set aside.
3. In mixing bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar until well combined. Beat in egg and 1 tsp. vanilla. Gradually beat in milk until combined. Beat in flour. Spread evenly in crust-lined pie plate.
4. Slow pour syrup over the filling in pie plate. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover edges of pie with foil.
5. Bake pie 25 minutes; carefully remove foil. Bake about 20 minutes more or until top is puffed and golden brown, and a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes on wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 10 servings.
(Update – I made it and it was AWESOME. Not a crumb was left and I can’t wait to make it again.)
Alex insisted this was a puzzle and he was working it.
It’s that time again. Here’s the third box we prepared for Teague.
We included a bath toy (this fish has fascinated Alex and he keeps asking for one), zippy cups, a concrete mixer t-shirt, a polo shirt and shorts, a favorite bedtime book of ours (The Going To Bed Book), toddler snacks, and a few treats for his foster family (Ghirardelli dark chocolate, Door County coffee singles, and Buddy Squirrel cashews).
Last soccer practice of the season.
“Mom, I can’t go to bed. The kids have to go to school.”
When I found out the Color Run was coming to Racine (45 minutes south of Milwaukee), I immediately signed up. The premise is a 5k run with powdered color thrown on you at various points. Bo agreed to run it with me and today was the big day! I dragged Wade along to take pictures. Alex was quite concerned that I would be “dirty” and need a shower.
Here are the before and after shots:
Wade also managed a picture during color throwing. Can you find Bo and I?
The boys (Wade, Alex, Damian, and Jack) were waiting for us right before the finish line. (Alex was very confused why we didn’t immediately stop.)
Alex was quite adamant about needing a band-aid for his scraped elbow.
(The fact that we couldn’t get to the band-aid for several hours was irrelevant.)
Alex’s current favorite food is salad.
He even asked for it as dessert a few weeks ago.
Alex calls this “barefooting”
Alex has been begging to buy and plant flowers for months (every time we drive by the nursery). Today I finally agreed to get flowers. He loved helping me pick them out. Then we got home and he had to have a spade and told me, “Worker man puts it in his pocket.” He then proceeded to refer to himself in the third person as “worker man” for the rest of the morning. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly our project went (most of my projects where a 3 year old helps are frustrating). We both had a great time and now all my planting is done! (Alex wanted his own pot of flowers. The first pot pictured is his – he picked most of the flowers himself.)
Backyard sprinkler fun.
Can you find Alex and Abram?
(They are the only two holding hands.)
Alex was REALLY excited to open my Mother’s Day presents.
We had fun with our Mother’s Day Presents this year and sent the below to the grandmothers.
Alex and I played with my Transformers from childhood. Sadly there was one I had to look up online to figure out how to transform (Bumblebee – when he was a VW beetle).
Zoo class was about seals and sea lions today. I was surprised to hear the obvious differences and how to tell the apart (although I still can’t remember which has the ears and which uses its front flippers and which uses it’s back). The class was full of games, activities, face painting, stories, and a visit to the seals. A zoo trainer even came out to feed them and show us all their tricks. Then we met Daddy for lunch (Alex has been wanting to take me to Hot Dogs ever since their “guy night”).
After zoo class we met Daddy for a hot dog lunch.
Alex loves to give kisses.
These two just look like trouble.
One of those days….
Last year I heard about “Project Life” and got interested. It’s a really easy way to scrapbook without being creative or having to “create” pages. You just have to provide the pictures and add your personal notes. I decided to try it this year. The first week of January I sat down to order all my supplies, but evidently there was a Christmas rush and most were sold out. I waited and waited and finally found them in stock in late March. At this point I also realized that the title and journaling cards are all oriented for the horizontal picture layouts, but 95% of my pictures are vertical. I called in my design expert (Wade) and he manipulated the horizontal cards to be vertical. (He has mad photoshop and illustrator skills.) Then I decided I wanted to print my journaling cards instead of handwriting them. My printer (a laser printer) wasn’t cooperating and I finally called in Wade. He explained I would need a different kind of printer for this. My awesome new printer (Canon Pro9000 MarkII) arrived today and I spent all evening printing.
You can organize the book any way you want. I do two pages per week. This gives me a title card, 7 vertical pictures, and then 8 horiztonal wallet slots (for either pictures or journaling). There are other “plastics” you can buy as needed. I have two other types that I use for weeks with an extra long story (Teague’s referral) or extra pictures (Alex’s birthday or Easter).
Wade was supportive but had to ask the question, “Isn’t this a little redundant with your blog?” Sometimes yes, but there are pictures and stories that I don’t post for the world to see.
Our big accomplishment for the day was making it to soccer. Alex needed just as many “breaks” as normal (i.e. to come talk to mom), but when he was with his group he actually did really well. He listened and participated in the games. We’re making progress (baby steps).
Today’s big accomplishment – drawing a smiley face.
(All of the others were frowney faces.)