Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!!

It has been a great year. I just want to thank God for all the wonderful adventures we had this year. We love being the parents of two sweet boys. We are richly blessed. 

Accepting Help

I was at the grocery store today with both boys. I had Warren in the ergo (thank God for ergos because they keep creepy people from touching my baby). As I was unloading the cart at the checkout, an older woman asked if she could help me. Honesty, I enjoy grocery shopping and I think of unloading the cart as exercise. I felt like I didn't need the help and I almost said no.  But I said yes, even though she unloaded my cart more slowly than I did because I knew it would make her feel useful. 

Because I didn't let my pride get in the way, I was a blessing to her because she was able to help me and she was a blessing to me because I could focus on the boys and the cashier. I encourage you (and myself in the future) to accept help when it is offered. I am pretty sure she, the cashier, and I all left the store in a better mood thanks to her generosity in helping me. I am thankful for little blessing that God puts in our lives. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pretzels and a Cookie recipe

Cindy usually makes these cookies each year, but she is out of town so I had to finally learn how to make them. She gave me the recipe years ago and explained all the things she changes. I have handwritten notes, that I took about the process, written all over the margins of the recipe. I will summarize it all in one place for you. 

Shortbread/Sugar/Spritz Cookies

1-1/2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/4 flour, sifted (or 2 cup flour AND 1/4 cup cocoa powder for chocolate layer)

***Note: I make one batch of chocolate dough and one of vanilla. Together they yielded about 13 dozen cookies. 

1. Cream butter and sugar together. I put mine in the KitchenAid and beat for 6-10 minutes. 

2. Add the vanilla and egg. Beat a few more minutes. 

3. Add flour by quickly. Don't overmix. 

4. You may need to refrigerate the dough to make it more stiff. I press one layer into a square baking dish and stick it in the  freezer while I make the second layer. 

*** Note: if you make the vanilla batch first, you don't have to clean your bowl or beater when you make the chocolate batch. 

5. Pull your dough out of the frig once it has stiffened some. Cut in half.

 Roll the first piece out. Once it is rolled out a bit, roll the dough up like a jelly roll. Those are your spiral cookies.

 For the striped cookies, cut the rest of the dough in half and stack the two halves on top of each other. Now roll out. 

***Note: these cookies keep well inthe  refrigerator. I kept mine for about two weeks in the frig. I would slice off about a dozen and cook them and wrap the rest of the dough up and put it back in the frig. 

Oh, and we made chocolate covered pretzels. They are so addicting. We made white chocolate ones too, but I didn't take a picture of them. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


I don't know how germs get passed around in this house... but three of us now have colds. Martin only loves to stick his face next to Warren's and say, "hi, baby! Hi, baby! Hi, baby!" 

Thankfully, Martin seems to be on the upswing and Warren doesn't seem be as sick as Martin and me. 

Don't you just love those pictures?!? I hope they are wonderful friends for the rest of their lives. I am thankful that Martin has a brother. I look forward to seeing what messes they get into. Today Martin and I played with bowls of water and soap bubbles. Martin dumped it all over the kitchen floor. It needed to be washed. :) 

Martin and I wrapped Jared's Christmas present today. Ha ha. I let Martin pick out and put on the ribbon. He was so excited. 

Merry almost Christmas!!! 

Monday, December 22, 2014


I made this quilt for my parents three Christmases ago, but I finally remembered to take pictures of it. Cindy gave me a gallon bag of fun scraps and told me to have fun coming up with pattern. I really like how this quilt turned out. 

I am an engineer, so things have to be symmetrical. I really want to do random quilts sometimes, but once I have the pieces laid out, I can't bring myself to do it. They always end up with some sort of pattern. You can seem how this pattern goes: blue, green, red, blue, green, red. I do like how the scraps are different sizes and not all completely square. That is as non symmetrical as I get. :) 

Again, pictures don't do it justice

And here is the back:
It is pretty random. I don't like solid backs anymore. I try to do something to break them up. 


Martin has been fighting a cold since Thursday.  He seems to be on the mend today. I think I have caught his cold now. Oh well. We both should be healthy by Christmas!! 

We are spending lots of time in our pajamas, reading books, playing with play dough and cookie cutters, coloring, and snuggling up under warm quilts. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Baby Quilt

One of my friends and I have a mutual love for purple and green. My siblings remind me that these are the colors for Barney and the Joker. Nevertheless, I love the colors together. When I found out my friend was having her first girl, after three boys, I wanted to make her a purple and green quilt. 

I finished the top to this quilt back in August, but I don't like it. It did not turn out the way I had hoped in my head. The pattern ended up being WAY more of a hassle than I expected and I don't like how the colors look together. I thought all the random purples and greens would look cute together, but I just don't like it. 

I finally quilted it and sewed on the binding this week. I told myself, an okay quilt is better than no quilt at all. The scrappy binding does help pull all the colors together a bit more. Unfortunately, you can't see the scrappy binding well in the pictures. So in the end I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. They can't all be your favorites I guess. 

It was great to be quilting and sewing on binding again. It had been too long. I hope to get back to sewing once I settle in to the routine of two kids. I actually woke up with my alarm at 6:45 this morning. Woohoo. I will slowly get my myself back into a 5:30-6:00 start. I have to get up before these boys!! 

Friday, December 12, 2014


Guess who came to visit us this weekend?!?  

Martin is pretty excited!! And for the third visit in a row we have had calzones.  I think Michelle plans to come when I plan to make calzones. Ha. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thank You Cards

Martin and I have been working on thank you cards for baby presents and meals. Each one is unique. He saw me writing and wanted to draw on the cards. I used his enthusiasm to my advantage and we decorated some blank cards. 

I am learning that I can either fight his energy or harness it to be useful. A few nights ago I let him crush up crackers for the top of a casserole. It was messy, took a long time, and I had to clean my counters when he was finished. It also kept him busy and happy while I made the rest of dinner.  

Five Dollar Fix

The week before Warren was born the dryer knob stopped working. It cracked and spun in circles without resetting the timer. We kept forgetting to look to see if we could buy a new knob so we used pliers for a while to turn the switch, but one day Jared put them back in his work truck without thinking, while he was gathering up some other tools around the house. That wouldn't have been a huge deal, however, I had thrown all of Martin's stuffed animals and blankets in the washer before his nap. Thankfully, I had another pair of pliers in my car. 

My Dad stopped by and I mentioned wanting to order a new knob. He pulled out his phone, searched eBay, and found a knob for $4.88 with free shipping. So he ordered it for me and I put it on when it came. It works perfectly. 

After dealing with complicated things, insurance, doctors appointments, birth certificates, etc. it is nice to have something work so easily and in one try. Praise God for a simple and cheap fix. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tinker toys

This little guy and his "truck" have been riding around my house, especially my kitchen, since Jared made the truck on Sunday. I fix the truck about every 10-20 minutes when one of the parts fall off. 

We built a house for the mouse out of pillows, but I tired of rebuilding it each time it fell over. I am excited because some of my Christmas presents came in a large box, which I have plans of turning into the mouse's house for a few days. Then it will go into the trash. Another box came in the mail which is going to be a car. Who needs toys? I will post pictures later this week. 

Monday, December 08, 2014

Quick Chocolate Fudge Icing

Mondays are catch up days. I made chex mix, chicken stock, and white bean chili. That white bean chili recipe is delicious. It is listed under recipes on my blog.  I highly recommend making it. I will be working it into our winter rotation more. It is so easy. I also went grocery shopping, picked up Warren's birth certificate (why do you have to pay $32 for a copy?), made unofficial copies for the insurance companies, and dropped copies off to the insurance company. Thanks to my mom for watching the boys while I did all of that. 

I was battling a fever and infection all of last week so I am still catching up on things around the house. My last lab was last Monday!! Hooray. I can't believe I have been teaching for six years.  Crazy. 

Recipes still to come:
Sweet potato pie
Chicken pot pie
Sweet potatoes

I thought I would quickly give you my go to chocolate icing for sheet cakes. I cheat and make boxed cake (and I usually use applesauce instead of oil - no one will know the difference and you can have twice as much cake because it is healthier - ha). 

Chocolate Fudge Icing
1 c. Sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c milk or cream
2-3 squares unsweetened chocolate (or 6-9T unsweetened cocoa powder)

Combine in a pan. Bring to a boil. Boil 3-5 minutes. Pour over cake. 

This little man will be five weeks this weekend. I don't know where the time has gone. Babies have the most kissable cheeks. I love them. 

P.s. While I was nursing Warren last night, at 3am, I heard Martin roll over in his crib and say, "yes, Christmas". He never moved or said anything else the whole time I was in there. What a funny kid. 

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Luke 16:7-10

This stuck out to me today, especially the line about doing ALL that you were commanded. I can't ever do all that I am commanded. I am thankful for Christ's righteousness. 

Luke 16:7-10
Will any of you you has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, "Come at once and recline at my table"? Will he not rather say to him, "Prepare supper for me and dress properly and serve me while I eat and drink"? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, "We are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty."

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Thankful 21-30

I am thankful 

21. That Martin often sleeps through Warren waking up in the middle of the night. 

22. For books and a mother that helped me love to read. 

23. For the blankets Lindy Hall crocheted for my boys. They both love them. Martin asked to be tucked in with his blanket every night.  Also for the big one that she made us for our wedding. I use it on cold nights when I have to get up to nurse. 

24. For Christmas decorations. They make the house so jolly. 

25. For chocolate and peanut butter and any combination of them. 

26. For Swaddle wraps. 

27. For BumGenius diapers. 

28. For fabric and knowing how to quilt. 

29. For antibiotics. 

30. For tea.