Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ahhhh... Life at its finest!

The four of us were watching tv tonight, flipping back & forth between Food Network & TLC.

(By the way, this meant we weren't seeing any commercials, so I still don't know how
Dale learned Chevy's new slogan)

So anyway, a
show about doughnuts came on Food Network, and it wasn't long before Dale voiced my own exact thought:

"I want a doughnut!"

And you know, sometimes all it takes is someone else saying what you were already thinking to propel you into action.

Within moments, Dale and I were in the kitchen. We popped open our last can of refrigerator biscuits, heated a small pan of shortening, and found an empty pill bottle to make holes. While I fried the biscuits doughnuts, Dale stirred the powdered sugar glaze, and then I dipped them. Dale sprinkled a few with leftover birthday cake sprinkles (those things just
keep showing back up!.. note to self... buy a smaller container next time!)
We even sang while we worked! Remember this song - ?
Life without Jesus, is like a doughnut, like a doughnut, like a doughnut.
Life without Jesus, is like a doughnut:
There's a hole in the middle of your heart!

And Dale, who sometimes acts weird about singing (but that's just Dale for you), even Dale had fun with that song while making doughnuts!

It wasn't long at all before we were sitting down to warm glazed doughnuts with tall glasses of milk.

I have no idea how the doughnuts on tv turned out, and I don't feel like I missed a thing! Because, really, what is better than a late-night, sweet, fried treat, made in your own kitchen, with your own little buddy? Not much, my friends, not much!

P.S. - They may not be much to look at, but I ate the pretty ones first. ;)

Because he's just so darn quotable

We aren't huge tv watchers around here, but apparently Dale has been getting more than I knew.
Last night,

during a commercial,

with the volume all the way down,

Dale says to no one in particular

(in his best 4-year-old "announcer" voice) -

"the all new Chevy Malibu: the car you can't ignore."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

From dairy to deity, we are thankful for all

We finally finished Dale's Thanksgiving Turkey yesterday. Yeah, I know. We're a little behind. And we're still working on finishing his Thanksgiving Book. I think we have a pretty good excuse with those hospital visits and all. Of course, I have been known to procrastinate a time or two.
I'm in good company, though: my friend Kim just
wrote about procrastination herself. Maybe all you non-procrastinators can head over and leave a tip. ;) I'll be right behind you, to see if there is help for me. Not that I have a problem or anything. Yeah. Right.

But anyway, thankfulness is a year-round thing, right? :)

So the turkey is supposed to get one feather a day, but we were pretty behind, so he got, - ummm - several tail feathers yesterday. Now that he is done, I wanted to share with you some of the 21 things Dale decided he was thankful for.

- Quite a few family members, including everyone in this house and a handful of grandparents

- An assortment of toys & possesions: His trains, sandbox, and tricycle, among others

- And then - my favorite part of the thankfulness turkey - the other stuff:

The Dollar Store
Pecan Pie
Wal Mart

(You can tell we are into high-class shopping around here.)

And finally, when a prompt to name another person came up, Dale asked me who he hadn't named yet. Since he was in need of a suggestion anyway, I decided to lead things in a bit of a spiritual direction and said, "What about Jesus?"

(This would be a good point to insert that we all have colds, "an' I wah dalking ike dis" because my head was so stopped up.)

So what I was trying to say was "What about Jesus?", but apparently didn't come across very clearly, because Dale, in all seriousness, asked, "Who is Cheeses?"

Oops. I'm doe-ing to doe bwow my dose dow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hauling Alan - all over the place!

I don't know about you, but this NEVER happens at our house: A child falling asleep on his own? Especially somewhere besides his bed? No way. No matter how tired, that just doesn't happen. I think Dale did it once in his whole baby-hood. And even though Alan doesn't nap well and could usually always use some sleep, he doesn't fall asleep easily either. But last Sunday afternoon, he woke up way too early from a nap, and then really surprised us when he fell asleep on the floor not too much later! He slept there for over an hour & a half! We had just gotten home from the hospital the night before, so we figured he was still recovering from all of that.

Later in the week, we got out and enjoyed the warm weather, knowing cold was coming. For several days Dale had been pulling his wagon with one hand while steering his tricycle with the other. He talked and talked about hauling his 'trailer'. With Daddy home for the break, he was able to help Dale out and make a 'hitch'. Hands-free hauling! Both boys enjoyed the benefits of that:

Last week Dale was also in a phase of calling people "dude". The same afternoon these pictures were taken we were all outside together. Dale wanted me to scoot over so he could sit next to me. He started to call me 'dude' but his thought process must have told him 'dude' was for males, because he corrected himself this way:
"Scoot over, woman!"
Ummm... no.
I was really glad his Daddy was home - he did all the correcting while I just turned my head and choked back the laughter!

Sadly, all the fun & games didn't last too long. After marveling at the fact that JC Penney was going to be open at 4am the day after Thanksgiving and who in the world would be getting up that early, anyway... turns out we could have been some of the first ones there. Alan woke up at 2:30am with a high fever that kept climbing. So... deja-vu! Emergency room visit (although we went to a local one this time & had a much better experience), Friday night hospital stay, and home by bedtime Saturday. Ugh. So our Thanksgiving break was book-ended by hospital stays. But, our usual mantra still holds true: "It could be so much worse." And that is definitely something to be thankful for. :)

And now I'm off to catch up on laundry and put some supper in the crock pot. See you later, woman!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Forecast

This Thanksgiving Eve has been a busy day. I've done a good bit of cooking in preparation for tomorrow, and I'm making more food tomorrow than I have any other year.

I'm roasting my first turkey! It is sitting in a brine right now, hopefully to be all moist and tender... but isn't that everyone's goal for their Thanksgiving turkey?

I assembled my first Thanksgiving dressing. I've made dressing before, but never for Tgiving day!

In addition to the cooking, the weather also added to the feel of it being Thanksgiving. After several days of highs in the 70s, a cold front blew in just after lunch. Greg and the boys and I went out on the porch to see it in. Sure enough, within a few minutes, the wind picked up, great big raindrops plopped down here and there, and the air turned crisp as the temperature dropped about 15 degrees!

So after today, and with cooking and weather being two of my interests, I want to share what my mom sent me (she saw it on the internet):

Thanksgiving Forecast:
Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.
During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy. A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway.
During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34 degrees F in the refrigerator. Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established.
Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops.
By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

Monday, November 19, 2007

Microwavable Gold

Oh my goodness - I've struck holiday snack food gold!

Usually sometime around this time of year I like to start trying to keep at least one holiday goody on hand to munch on. This usually starts in earnest in early December as I open up our Christmas stuff and find all my 'tins'. (In my case these are actually plastic, but the idea is the same, right?)

This annual Filling of the Tins also coincides with my sister's return home from the fall semester. She usually arrives home ready to commence with all things holidayish - mainly putting up the tree and filling the tins. So... knowing she is across town creating holiday goodness to munch on, and knowing this has been my own intention for a good week or two, I cannot be out-domesticated by my unmarried college-student sister and I finally get serious about the Filling of the Tins at our house.

I've come up with some favorites over the past few years, and some that will never be made again. One of our new favorites just made its debut last year. I'll be sure and share these as they each make their appearances this year.

One simple classic I have never mastered has been party mix. Yes, I know. It is supposed to be easy: square cereal, pretzels, nuts, butter, worcestershire.... but mine is never right. But ohhhh, buddy. I've got it now. My own party mix! So easy, so good, and you make it in the microwave!!!

Inspired by upcoming Thanksgiving preparations and curious about the simplicity of this recipe, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. And believe me: it will definitely have a tin of its very own come December!

So, first the recipe, and then I'll tell you how I changed it. Because I can never just follow a recipe. (It is no mystery why my successes are sprinkled with odd failures, is it?)

Taco Tidbits
(ummm.... not a fan of the name... maybe why I've never made it? Even though it is from a 2001 magazine?)


Taco Tidbits
Taco Party Mix
6 tablespoons butter or margarine

2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning
8 cups corn chex
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

Place butter in 11x7 microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high 1 minute or until butter is melted.
Add taco seasoning. Stir in the cereal until evenly coated. Microwave on high 1 minute. Stir.
Heat 1 - 1 1/2 minutes longer; stir.
Sprinkle with Parmesan, microwave for 1 minute. Stir; Heat 1 minute longer. Cool.

Ok. So here's what I did. First of all, I halved it since I still wasn't sure it would be any good. (O me of little faith.)
I also added in a cupful of goldfish crackers. Definitely a good addition.
I really wasn't sure about parmesan cheese mixed with taco seasoning, and was going to leave it out, but at the last minute sprinkled some in. Maybe less than even the halved recipe called for? (I didn't measure) But it does go well with it.

Yum-o! as
Rachael Ray would say! This is really SO good. I think it would be fine if you wanted to go all out with the pretzels and nuts and everything, but I like the simplicity of it. This is my new party mix! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Just a little weekend get-away

What has happened to my poor little blog!?!? I have so many thoughts and stories that cross through my mind that I would love to blog about, but suddenly it seems I can't find a spare moment to sit down and write. (A spare moment where I still have the brain capacity to actually put two coherent thoughts together, that is!) :)

I do have somewhat of an excuse for the past couple of days though. Maybe I should present a doctor's note for missed blogging days? ;)

After a couple of days with a stomach bug, it was decided that Alan needed to spend a night in the hospital for observation. (if you are interested in all the medical details you can go here and click 'read journal').

So... when you go to the hospital for a visit like that, and it is after hours, and a weekend, the first place you go is the ER. Oh, and isn't that a treat. The ER is basically full of kids with things that I would take mine to a pediatrician for. But apparently these people don't have a pediatrician. It all has something to do with no insurance and free healthcare, but I don't know how all that works.

Anyway, we check into the ER. At least they are expecting us because our doctors have called and told them we are coming. I overhear someone say we are "level 2". Whoo-hoo. Aren't we special? All I know level 2 means is that we don't have to wait as long as all those people packed in around us.

Oh no. We only have to wait an HOUR. Surrounded by every type of cough I can imagine, with a couple of people holding those kidney-shaped pink puke buckets, just for good measure. Oh how I wish I could have held my breath for an hour.

At least they had a movie on - Shrek 2. Good distraction. Except for OH - it was in SPANISH. I'm not even going to go there.

But I couldn't concentrate too much on our Spanish movie or all the germs swirling around me, because I was too busy coming down with whatever Alan had had that got us there in the first place. Oh yes. The nausea was fabulous. I am one of those types that has a hint of nausea and I go horizontal, not to move for a couple of days. Yeah, well, try that in an ER full of coughing, spewing germ-carriers.

After our hour in the upper dungeon was up, we got called back to the depths. But the depths are much more pleasant. (relatively speaking, of course). We had our own room there. But I couldn't help thinking of all that coughing out in the dungeon and wondering about all of the people that had sat in this very same private room all day before we got it. *shudder* But hey - we did have the option of English tv. But since Shrek was in the last 10 minutes we decided to finish it instead. You know, to increase our Spanish skills and all.

All was going pretty well until Alan had to get poked. Four times. That was not pleasant.

Not to mention the fact that I was supposed to be carrying on intelligent, medical-parental conversations with every level of medical professional there is. Every person that came through the door wanted the whole story, beginning with "was it a normal pregnancy?" all the way to "and what brings you here today?" Even though they have this information on paper right in front of them. And I had to answer all these questions and relay all these details, when all my brain was telling me was "DON'T MOVE OR YOU MIGHT THROW UP". Yeah, I'm sure they all thought I was soooo 'together'.

In fact, after a couple of hours of this I finally 'fessed up to one of the doctors that "I feel like poo." Oh yes. I am so mecially savvy. I use technical terms for describing how I feel. You know, like 'poo'.

Oh well. The job got done. And I am very happy to report that I did NOT throw up. Oh I came very close. And I did have some er, other problems. But thankfully, everything kept moving in its natural direction.

After first entering the ER upper dungeon at precisely 6pm, we were finally led to Alan's bed for the night at 12:30. By 1:30am we were finally all 3 settled in to our beds. And blissfully, we were not woken up at 6am for a blood-draw or 6:30 for rounds or 7 for shift-change. Nope! Alan was awake for a little while around 5, but after he fell back to sleep next to me, we slept until 8. 8 am! That is amazing for being in a hospital!

Not a lot to tell from the whole day (it was long). And this post is already long enough. But I want to leave you with a picture. They told us we would be getting released around 5pm. Knowing full-well how things really work, we started bugging our nurse at 4:45. And, by 10 after 6, I was signing release papers. But during that long, restless hour we had to entertain ourselves (and more importantly, Alan) somehow. Enter: bucket rides! :)

Alan loved it! He is just getting good at baby-signing more, and this gave him good practice. Whenever the bucket stopped, he was ready for more. And ready to climb out.... so keep it moving please! :)

So there you have it. My doctor's excuse for not blogging these past few days. :) Please watch your step: as I read back through I see there is sarcasm dripping everywhere. :)
Oh - and I am feeling much better! I never 'sort of' get any sickness - I either get it or I don't. But this one kind of brushed me, and I know it is thanks to God's goodness and all of the prayers for us as we headed off into this weekend hospital venture. Thanks to all of you who were part of those praying, and thank You Lord that we are home again! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday - Thanksgiving Countdown

Last year, around the last week of October, not coincidentally just as Christmas decorations began to edge in on all the Halloween stuff on store shelves, my then-3-year old began talking about how ready he was for Christmas. Not wanting to spend the next 8 weeks telling him "not yet" I began to explain that first we had to have Thanksgiving, and T-giving was still a while away itself. So, to break down the wait, and to encourage some thankfulness, we made this little activity. First we made a paper chain with a link for each day remaining until Thanksgiving. Then I cut out a gourd/upside-down light bulb shape out of brown construction paper for a turkey-body. I added eyes & a beak, and wrote across his belly, "Dale says: 'Thank you God, for...."
Then, each day we would unfasten a link, write something he was thankful for on it, and then glue it behind the turkey for his tail. (I also put a little symbol on each link as a help - stick person for a person, house for a place, and dot for a 'thing'). Each time the turkey got a new feather we would kneel right then and there and thank God for whatever it was that day. Along with all the usual stuff, you get some interesting things, like soup. And insects. You never know what a preschooler is going to be thankful for! But there is a good lesson for all of us in that. :)

This Worked So Well for us last year, that on November 1st we were ready to go again with a new turkey. This year, Dale cut him out and drew on his eyes himself. And for some reason, he is liking keeping the feathers sorted by color. But hey. It's his turkey. And he's learning (slowly) a sense of time. And he's thanking the Giver of all good gifts. And that Works for Me! :)
Fore more great WFMW tips, be sure and head over to Rocks in My Dryer.


Four - Thirty.


Seems to be

Alan's new

"its-time-to-be-awake" time.

Tired? Why yes! Yes I am, thankyouverymuchforasking!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Party time!

I want to share all the details, but I'm sooo tired, so I'm just going to have to settle for this. :)

Alan's birthday is Wednesday...we had his party today. He was a sweetheart!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


You can learn so much from blogs. Not only is this a great justification for spending so much of my spare time reading blogs, it is also very true.

It has been since I started reading blogs that I realized, "Hey! I don't have to do all this stuff myself!" I have been seriously under-estimating a 4 year olds capabilities for being useful to the household.

In the last few weeks Dale has gotten a few new jobs, in addition to his old assignments of making his bed, and putting away his clothes and toys at the end of each day. He is now also responsible for:

- emptying the clean silverware tray from the dishwasher (this is usually every morning)

- clearing plates, bowls, silveware, glasses & cups after each meal and putting them into the dishwasher (this one is pretty flexible... sometimes we ask him to do just his, sometimes we all do it together, and it isn't always EVERY meal)

- sweeping up all the foodstuffs from under the table & high-chair
Because those two boys drop almost as much food as they eat.
Because we don't have a dog.

Because I was tired of doing it (or not doing it, and constantly crunching cheerios and squishing scrambled egg. Ew.) He has his own little whisk-broom set for this, but lately he likes using the big broom. Whatever floats your boat, son. Just no more leftovers between my toes, 'kay?

I hope to add more and more to this as time goes by. He can handle it. And it's time he started pulling some of his own weight around here.

Seriously, though, it was nice after lunch today when Alan was in Hold Me Every Moment mode. I put up the food one handed while balancing a baby on my hip, and while I did that, Dale put away our dishes. No bending & stooping for me, and the job took half the time! :)

All that time spent reading blogs? Definitely parenting research!

Reading list update

Let's talk about my reading list. (Because I know you are all just riveted by what I'm reading.)

Going down my Fall Into Reading Challenge list on the sidebar:

Seaside (Just finished) - a very good book. It is a novella, so it only took 2 days to read. It's mother & daughters (& sisters) and makes a very good point about enjoying the blessing of today, at whatever place you are in life.

The Pilgrim's Progress - I am officially giving up on this one. The day I brought it home from the library I got some uninterrupted reading time while both of the boys slept and really got into it. It seems very intellectual & literature-ish and spiritual... all at the same time. But that was a couple of months ago, and since then it's been like swimming through tapioca pudding. It just takes a lot of effort and brainpower, the latter of which I find myself short of pretty often these days. Plus, and I hate to actually admit this, but I was slightly disappointed that the book wasn't even about the people that came over on the Mayflower. Nope. Not those Pilgrims at all. What a rip.

Hints on Child Training (In progress) - This one also takes a little bit of concentration, but it is more from the fact that I want to absorb every single thought in it. It has short chapters, and no fluff. It was written in in 1890 by a father of 8. The quote on the back says it just as well as I could: "This book will give you a whole new perspective on your joy as a parent - and a lot more hope. Every family needs this book!" It is full of practical tips on how to implement ideas that are somehow both simple and profound... if that makes any sense. I definitely recommend it to any parent.

So... there you have it. What are you reading? What's on your "To-Read" list?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WFMW - Backwards Day!

Okay bloggy world friends.... I have 2 questions.

1. I am looking for some sort of Bible study / devotion material for a group of 4-5 ladies once or twice a month. I would prefer something that didn't require preparation and reading ahead of time for the whole group. Just a simple lesson or devotion I can give for us to discuss.
I will not be using Beth Moore.
Right now I am considering I'll Bring the Chocolate, by Karen Porter. Is anyone familiar with this? Have you used it in a group setting?

Any suggestions?

2. I can't figure out how to make a picture on my sidebar a hyperlink. I can put in pictures and text, but unless there is a hyperlink button in the window when you add it, I can't get it to be a link. Help! :)

I can't wait to go read everyone else's questions.... you always learn so much! If you are bursting with great ideas, maybe you can help someone out by heading over to Rocks in My Dryer for this month's backwards edition of Works for Me Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Doing stuff

I don't know about you, but we are still adjusting to the time change. Not that I'm complaining... I was ready for it weeks ago. My only concern was the frequent habit Alan has of waking up at 5:30am. Factor in "fall back", and.... yeah. That'd be 4:30.
Fortunately, that hasn't happened (yet). But we have been having some early mornings. Yesterday we had been up, had breakfast and already spent a lot of 'day'. It felt like it must be at least 10am. It was 7:30. And, oops - I made a phone call to have a little chat (with a friend who shall remain unnamed) and woke her up. Oops.

So by the time 11am rolled around the day was getting really long. The boys and I headed over to visit Nana & PawPaw. Lucky us - we got invited for lunch! Yum!

A toy from Dale's baby-hood made it's reappearance for Alan. It's a little ride-on/pushing car. Alan loved it! And... so did Dale. It was pretty sad really... big ol' kid riding along with his knees up to his ears playing on a baby toy. But it was so fun!

We stayed as long as I dared... I hear rumors spending extended periods of time with my boys can be exhausting to those who don't live with them. :)
Not sure why.... they're both such quiet intellectual types:
...or maybe they just see me on the computer a lot? Nah.... couldn't be.
I do other things, too. This is one thing I did yesterday:
I know - sooo elegant and fancy. Hey: I'm just happy to be in season, ya know? I can bust out with some real decorating skills in a few years. Like when Greg retires. And I actually acquire some real decorating skills. Or just some decorating money. Who needs abundant skills when you have a decent budget for Hobby Lobby? Or Tuesday Morning? 'Nuff said.

And... back at home... Dale continued to enjoy the ride-on. Like I said... pretty sad, huh? Ahh well.... I have to remember that his mother could still play some serious Barbie at an age when most girls were buying makeup and reading magazines about boy bands. So you just ride that toddler toy, kiddo.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Memorable Moments Monday

Alan's First Haircut

I don't know what other people do for their babies' first haircut... I imagine it has something to do with an appointment and a barber's chair? I really have no idea.

Around here, we are the ultimate do-it-yourselfers. This includes the realm of just about anything hair-related. Of course, my mom gets most of the credit. She really has a knack with the scissors. You oughta see what she does for me! (Not that I'm braggin' or nothin', but between the good genes and the good haircuts, there are times in my life that I go around sportin' a pretty kickin' haircut. So good, in fact, it apparently makes me forget how to use the 'ing' suffix... hmmm.)

Anyway, since Mimi can do things with scissors that looks professional, that means we don't have to go and sit (or pay!) for a professional to do it. Which means Baby's First Haircut can happen whenever the urge strikes. For Alan, that was this past Thursday night. (Well, the urge struck us, not him, but.... you know.)

Anyway (again) - moving ahead with the story...
After a competent barber/stylist, the next important element of of Baby's First Haircut is something to keep the

victim subject still. For Dale, this was easy: ice cream! He probably got spoon fed ice cream (usually by Gramps) for every haircut the first 2 years of his life. Worked like a charm.
Alan? Not such a fan of ice cream. Or being spoon fed. Or just eating in general. So he posed a little more of a challenge.
For his ultimate distraction & entertainment, I pulled down a box of odds & ends toys from the top of Dale's closet - most of them with wheels.

Mimi did the cutting, Gramps did the entertaining, Dale played on the computer and talked - a lot. And me? Oh I'm pretty useless - I ran around doing this & that - keeping Dale busy, retrieving toys & cutting supplies. And taking pictures. :)
Can you count how many hands are in this pic? I see 5. :)

So there it is, the first haircut, ready to go down in the history books. Or at least the baby book. :)
To read more memorable moments, or to share your own, be sure & visit Kara at
Eskimo Kisses & Air Hugs! :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Scones

Some of my cooking is planned. But often, something comes on a whim.

This morning (maybe it was the time change?) I woke up in the mood for something good for breakfast.

I Googled "scones" and made the first recipe I found. They were sooooo good.

· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 1/3 cup sugar
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
· 1/2 cup raisins (or dried currants)
· 1/2 cup sour cream
· 1 large egg

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.
3. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
4. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
5. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.
Cranberry-Orange Scones
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding a generous teaspoon of finely grated orange rind (zest) to the dry ingredients and substituting dried cranberries for the raisins.

Of course, I can rarely stick to a recipe (probably explains why my baking is hit & miss... ), so here is how I changed this one:
I made the Cranberry-Orange scones, but instead of orange rind I added about a Tablespoon of orange marmalade, because that is what I had. I also added the faintest sprinkle of cinnamon.

Oh. my. goodness.
Some warm, buttery, holiday-ish goodness.
I was going to take a picture, but I forgot. And now they're all gone. :)
But you can see a picture here, where I got the recipe.

One great thing about them was they needed no butter or jelly/jam/honey. They were perfect just like they were, fresh & warm from the oven, or sitting out on the counter after church. (Who needs Sunday dinner when you can just have a leftover baked yummy?)

If I was going to make these for more than just us (say...a ladies brunch?) I might try dividing the dough into two lumps, so I would have 16 little scones instead of 8 bigger ones.
Mmm-mm-mm.... they were sooooo good!


What do you think?

Now go here and pick one out for your own blog! :)

It is very fun, and oh-so-good for your blog-esteem! ;)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Extreme Makover - Blog Edition

Y'all! Guess what.

Last week Shannon of
Rocks in my Dryer hosted her annual Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway at her other site, Basically over 600 bloggers left a link to their own blog giving you the chance to go sign up for something free. There was tons of stuff to enter for: CD's, books, candles, Bath & Body Works, & Gift Cards from places like Target, Starbucks, & Amazon.
I don't know how many giveaways I actually entered... I "only" read through about 100-150 names on the list of links.

And then....? Today...? I found out I WON SOMETHING!! I won a blog makeover!
Jennisa of
Jennisa's Bloggie Designs left a comment in this post to let me know I had won. I was happy excited acting like Charlie when he came home with the last golden ticket!
Jennisa is, as we speak (well... you know... figuratively speaking) creating a new design for my blog! Header, background, fun stuff like that. I'm so excited!

So one day soon when you stop by and things look a little (little, ha!) different, just look for the buffaloes, and you'll know you're in the right place! ;)

Friday, November 2, 2007

What would you do?

I can't believe I am posting a picture of my bathroom sink for the second time in a week. I couldn't believe it when I took a picture of my bathroom sink two days in a row. What can I say... the bathroom is apparently a busy place!

Nevertheless, here goes.

Last week, as I was packing to go on our camping trip, I went into the bathroom and found this:
That is Dale's hairgel. And it was more than it looks like in the picture.

At first I was just stunned. Then I was perplexed. Hmmm... how to handle this one? Sometimes I wonder if I am too lenient on things that fall under the category of "classic childhood exploration".. or something like that. I mean, can you imagine how fun it was to squeeze & squeeze & see that pile of gooey, shiny, yellow stuff pile up?

And yet... I wasn't happy about the mess & potential waste.

My first instinct was that Dale needed to clean it up. That is often the rule around here... you make the mess, you clean it up. But I wanted to salvage as much of that gel as I could, so I decided to do it myself. I felt like I was on some kind of gameshow: how fast can you scoop all of this back into the bottle, using nothing but a baby spoon!?

My next question was whether or not to punish Dale. In the end I opted for a Good Solid Threat of a Very Specific Punishment if he ever emptied, squeezed, poured, dumped, etc soap, lotion, hairgel, toothpaste, candlwax, etc down the sink again. I think he got the message.
But I'll be keeping all soaps, lotions, hairgels, toothpastes, etc out of reach for a while. And keeping myself on standby to quickly administer the Very Specific Punishment if needed. :)

So, ye parents of childhood explorers both past & present ... what would you have done with this one?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Noodly tubes

One of the ways liver disease has affected Alan is his appetite. He is only interested in a few solid foods and sometimes doesn't seem hungry for them at all. (He gets most of his nutrition from breast milk and his over-night high-calorie formula feeds through the NG tube). However, one thing he will usually eat is pasta (sounds a lot like another liver kid I know! ;). He almost always digs right in when we have spaghetti. We got tickled this week when this piece got stuck to his head. Hmmm.... which long yellow stringy thing is feeding tube and which is spaghetti?! :)

Oh Happy Day!

After a couple of harrowing car trips with Alan recently, we began to suspect part of the problem was that he was riding backwards - kind of a restricted view, and, oh yeah, he couldn't see me, the one person he must keep in his sights at (almost) all times.

Thanks to Dale, who talks all - the - time (he happened to point out a poster about carseats on the wall of the exam room), I thought to ask the pediatrician last week when we could turn Alan around and found out he was already ready! Yay! If I had the know-how I would have switched out seats right there in the dr's office parking lot! As it was, we had to wait for Daddy to come home and hook us up.
And Alan? He loves it. The first several trips riding forward were so fun! I'd look back at him and he would smile and kick and laugh. He's starting to get used to it now, and he's still had a couple of pretty fussy trips, but it's better.
Just goes to show it pays to listen (and really hear!) your kids... even when they're talking your ear off! :)