Friday, December 26, 2008

The Key to My Heart

First of all, Hi! Blogging has been difficult lately and I miss it like I would miss peanut butter and chocolate ice cream if they took it off the market. So many sad happy moments have occurred in the Summers home that I have failed to blog, but I'm sure it's not the end of the world.
When my little sister Megan was 16 she had a tumor removed from her brain, it was a difficult time in our family. She now is healthy, married and expecting her first baby in March. Since the surgery she has experienced some side effects, one of them being the lack of remembering dreams. Weird huh? Although I would love to forget many a dream I have had, namely any involving snakes or the boogie man.
A few weeks ago Meg had a dream that she remembered, this dream has led to being the best present I could have received this Christmas. In her dream Duane came to her and handed her a huge wade of cash. He told her to go to James Avery(jewelry store) and buy the Key To My Heart. When she woke up the next morning she was 1. amazed that she had remembered a dream and 2. not quite sure what the Key To My Heart at James Avery was. That day she received her James Avery catalog, being an avid charm bracelet lover, flipped to the charm section first. And there in the catalog was a charm, this very charm at the top of the screen, and the one present this year that has made me cry tears of joy and sorrow.
The Key To My Heart! I held the key to Duane's heart, that was spoken to me loud and clear, thanks to my little sister's dream, not just any dream, a visit from my love. To solidify even more the reality of this present, that very day, according to my mom I was doubting(yes, I know, how could I) Duane's love for me. I was being a silly billy, worrying that when he had his eyes opened he would realize how one sided our marriage was, well at least that's what I worried. He did so much for me, more than I really thought, and now that he was gone I was so regretful of not thanking him more. I worried that he would think "Man was I duped by that woman.", so that night Megan had her dream, my mom bought the charm for Duane, and I now hold the key to Duane's heart.
This Christmas will be memorable for some good and sad reasons, and I have to admit the good were great! I love you Duane, I love you all!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Random Smiles With Miss Em

You know, I'm not EVEN going to pretend that smiling and having fun is at the top of my list lately, for some odd reason it's actually been an effort to squeeze a chuckle or crack a smile(that sounds a little like 12 year old boy humor, sorry). Emma has made made it a tad bit easier to smile that frown away.
Example number one, her strong desire as of late to go into the sanitation industry. She has a fascination for the trash, playing in it, eating from it(yes Emma adjacent to trash is still trash), and her new career choice, carting it around like the trash woman she longs to be. So proud Em, so proud!

Examples number two and three, Captain Underpants!


Sorry Danielle, I think Emma is now the new Fashionista. She loves to get dressed and undressed, well undressed definitely comes before dressed. The girl would be naked 24/7 if her mother would let her. Panties over her clothes is her new fashion statement, and she wears it like that often. Dear sweet Emma, thanks for the chuckles and smiles, it feels good.




Thursday, November 27, 2008

To Be Or Not To Be.....Thankful That Is

Lately my youngest children have become the squishy tushy squad or other words a bunch of bum squeezing little preverts! At first is was funny, well actually really funny. They, and I guess I should clarify, they does include 5 children at one point or another that has squished a tush (my bookend children are completely Innocent), they are completely running ramped now. An intervention is now underway. But my point was that I told myself this was the one time in there life that they could pinch Mrs. Fell's bum and get away with it. They were grieving, acting strange, just not themselves. And yes, I have to say I still know that this is the main reason for the prevert flare-up.
So I was thinking about Thanksgiving. To be or not to be the old widow Summers, bitter to the world for the lot she had been given. Grouchy, crotchety, walking around with a cane whacking little children upside the head with it(hmmm, I do like that idea!). This was my one year that I could get away with having the widow Summers take over and no one would really even bat an eye lash, except my children who would be suffering from blunt force trauma. I could do it. I should do it. Well, no actually I couldn't, I won't, and the immortal words of Hannah "I shan't!" I love my family way to darn stinkin' much to do that to them.
I am so Thankful, yes, I am so Thankful for the so many little someones I have in my life. Each one of my babies have been a blessing from my Father in Heaven. They save me every single day, and I relish those moments that they need a little saving themselves.
I am so Thankful for the 15 years of marriage that Duane and I had, the love that we shared, the best friend that he was.
I am so Thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and the comfort and peace he has granted me these first few weeks of my new life without Duane.
I am so Thankful for my family for the support they have given me and the children, even though they are mourning just as much, they have been selfless, thank you!
I am so Thankful to all my friends and church family for tirelessly coming to our aid whenever we need help.
Happy Thanksgiving, I love you all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanks Babe!

I was leafing through Duane's scripture case this afternoon, looking, hoping, wanting to find anything written in his hand, touched by him, you get the picture, pretty sappy huh. Anyway I came across his little black book. Funny isn't it, Duane had a little black book! Except of course his was not loaded with other women's numbers, or even anything less than upstanding, it was filled to the brim with quotes, thoughts, scripture versus, anything that would strike him at the time he was listening at church or during general conference. Honestly, I always poked fun of my dear sweet husband, going to hell moment, I thought he was such a goody-goody sometimes. Wow! How grateful I am to have such a treasure trove of his spiritual nuggets.
One of the quotes Duane jotted down was from Thomas S. Monson, and it struck me as a sweet message he saved just for me now. "God gave us memories that we might have June roses in the December of our lives." Thanks Babe! Thank you for the sweet smelling bouquet of roses you have left for me and the children. We will cherish them always.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

'Til we meet again

He could flash a smile at me and my heart would melt into a puddle. Monday, November 10, 2008 my love and eternal companion returned to our Father in Heaven. I will miss his gentle touch, the kind sound of his voice when he would call me "beautiful", the infectious laughter when you would even attempt to tickle him. He wore a tutu for his girls, camped in the backyard with his boys, did dishes for his love.

The days before his passing, Duane would shake the hand of every friend and loved one that would visit. The words he would utter, " 'til we meet again". Amazing how 4 simple words can bring such comfort to my soul. 'Til we meet again my love, 'til we meet again.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Joy Through Our Sorrow

"I have a family here on earth. They are so good to me. I want to share my life with them through all eternity.
Families can be together forever

Through Heavenly Fathers plan.


I always want to be with my own family,



And the Lord has shown me how I can. The Lord, has shown me how I can."
Children's Songbook, pg 188






Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Share the love



I feel so loved, thanks Stacey! So in return for receiving this, my first blogging recognition, I must share with you 6 things I love and then share the love with 6 blogs I love. Here goes.
6 things I love:
  1. My family
  2. Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream
  3. Harry Potter
  4. The smell of fresh cut grass
  5. Listening to the owl outside my window at night
  6. Pumpkin anything

6 Blogs I love:

  1. Lindsay and Lisa(I know it's two, they are the friends who got me into blogging)
  2. Mamarazzi at Dandelion Wishes
  3. Katrina at Baking and Boys
  4. Crystal at Everyday Food Storage
  5. Sally at Sparkly Squares

Have a great day friends, voting, enjoying the fact that election season it almost over, spreading the love.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous-Halloween

Look at all my little chocoholics in training, a mother couldn't be more proud. Just one of many perks for having 7 children, 7 HUGE bags full of Halloween candy! Too bad dad isn't a dentist, I'm sure we'll be visiting our dentist in the near future.
I know I'm just a tad warped, but I love how this looks, oodles and oodles of candy scattered on the table. Brings those childhood memories rushing back. I vividly remember one Halloween when we lived in Wisconsin, right down the street from my grandparents. My Uncle Bob and Uncle Bill were trying to convince me that I really didn't want all my chocolate, yea right! They didn't know of my deep love forming for chocolate.

And this is what my little ladies dressed up as, Molly was a Twilight Vampire(haven't read the books, don't really know what she's talking about), Katie was Pocahontas, Miss Emma was Tinkerbell(all 5 of my ladies have worn that costume now), Grace was Shirley Temple(for the life of me we could not get her hair to stay in banana curls), and Hannah Nana was Super girl(she's still obsessed with superheros). I love having a teenager! Molly walked all the lady monkeys around the neighborhood, woo-hoo for Molly!

And the boys! Jack, the man, is obviously Superman and Ben went as a nerd, aka himself. Thank you Tingey family for walking my boy monkey's around the neighborhood, they had a blast!(minus Ben losing Jack)
No chocoholics recipe for this week, I'm swimming in chocolate, can't think of anything else. Hope everyone had a spooky Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous-Coma Hot Chocolate and a Super Duper Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is my Katie, my genuine, 100% tween. She loves to dance, cheer, sing, talk about boys, giggle, drink Mountain Dew, and watch High School Musical! Everything about this child oozes airhead. I love her!
Today my love goes above and beyond, I promised this perky little cheerleader that we would go see High School Musical 3-Senior Year. Yes, those crazy Wildcats are at it again. Now before you think I absolutely despise the HSM movies, I do admit to joining in on a good round of "We're All in This Together". I'm a sucker for a musical, do you remember Newsies, Loved It, have the movie and CD! I just cringe at the thought of screaming teenie boppers, mine included(man she can scream high and loud).
To prepare myself for this huge event I shall consume a large amount of Glenn Beck's Coma Hot Chocolate. Yes, I'm a sick twisted freak, I know it, I love Glenn Beck(my boyfriend Duane calls him)! Even if you have no earthly idea or your despise him this hot chocolate just reduces you to a puddle of chocolate bliss! Coma in a cup my friend, coma in a cup. And that's why I will enjoy.....

Glenn's Coma Hot Chocolate

5 pints of LIGHT CREAM, 1/2 & 1/2 or Whole Milk
12 Hershey candy bars

Slowly heat cream on stove, break candy bars in small pieces and slowly add to warm cream. Stir until melted candy is fully mixed.Serve ASAP and try not to go into a coma.

WARNING: DO
NOT EAT WITH TURKEY OR YOU MAY NEVER WAKE UP.
As an added reward for my superior mothering I whipped up a batch of these cookies from Baking with Boys . Now don't be afraid, it took me at least 2 weeks to muster up the courage to make cookies with hard boiled eggs. They are moist and yummy, and HUGE!
Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm running all over the playground!!


Tag, I'm it, 3 times in a row! Man, I need to run faster. No, just joking, this is fun, hope you find it fun too. I'm going to combine the three tags from Lindsay, Bobbi Jo, and Mamarazzi, the 8 things, to know about me, that make me happy so here goes...


Places I like to eat:




  1. Outback


  2. Carabba's


  3. Pei Wei


  4. Ted's


  5. Hideaway Pizza


  6. Olive Garden


  7. Panera


  8. Chick Fil a


Shows I watch



  1. Lost


  2. Heroes


  3. Dr. Who


  4. Medium, is that still on?


  5. AFV


  6. Wizzards of Waverly Place, the kids sucked me in


  7. Jimmy Neutron, secretly love this show, no sucking needed


  8. Jon and Kate plus 8


What makes me Happy



  1. Food, I have issues with chocolate, Sonic's diet Cole w/ lemon, and peanut butter.


  2. Watching my girls dance(shhh, even my boys), recital and Nutcracker time just make this mama want to bust some buttons. They look so confident, something I always struggled with as a kid.


  3. Family vacations, spending time with my kiddos and husband, minus the asthma attacks, crying babies and out of this world costs, Silver Dollar City and Colorado have been the happiest I have felt in a long time.


  4. Holding a newborn baby, oh it makes my heart just go pitter patter, and this is why I have 7 monkeys in this jungle.


  5. Harry Potter!!! I'm in stinkin' love with this whole phenomenon, movies, books, muggles, Hogwarts, Griffydor, Doby, and could go on and on.


  6. Fall weather, 50-60 degree temperatures, sun shining, leaves falling off the trees, perfect!


  7. My children, Molly, Ben, Katie, Jack, Grace, Hannah, and Emma. I love every little piece of their stinky, dirty, cuddly, soft, and amazingly cute bodies. OOHHHH they can drive me insane, but when the dust settles most of what they do is just so silly and laughable.


  8. My love and eternal companion Duane. He is the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of at night. Even before cancer he was the light in my life, I didn't need cancer to remind me how incredible he was, I always knew. No one could ever make me more happier, no one.

That in a nutshell are three tags summed up into one. I'm tired of running, I won't tag anyone else, time for a kool-aid.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday-A Ghostly Tale

I love the fall. Just look at all the orange! This weekend we did our traditional pilgrimage(15 miles) to our favorite pumpkin patch, and it's an actuall pick your own pumpkin, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" pumpkin patch. We love it!
We had a great time, can't you tell, Emma's modeling the back of her head just like Charlie Brown, and Hannah just wants to let it all loose, oh baby! But seriously I was so much fun and the kiddos worked up a big appetite. Just perfect for this weeks Muffin Tin Monday challenge- Halloween over at Sycamore Stirrings.
Looks a little ghoulish, this mad scientist did a little digging and created a ghostly tale to scare my little goblins. As the tin was passed around the Tale of John was recited and each child touched and even tasted a piece of my dear departed friend.

Here lies John, my dear late lamented friend. I know he wished he could be here before the end. John was a fun man, a giving man too. He wanted to share his body parts with you.

John was a jolly man with a great big gut. Let’s pass around his intestines, just your luck! Fresh from the grave, wet and cold Just a little slimy, just a little old. Twisted and shriveled in a bunch Just like they were after his lunch. (cold cooked spaghetti)

His skin was fair, almost pure white Let’s pass around a piece, no need to fright. Fresh from the grave, wet and cold. Just a little slimy, just a little old. Pretty greasy and dirty, he lived in a cave. Never really had time to ever bathe. (shredded tortilla)

One eyeball went left, the other went right. See poor John had very bad sight. Fresh from the grave, wet and cold. Just a little slimy, just a little old. Handle them gently as they roll John wouldn't like it if they fell from the bowl. (peeled grapes)

Now John wasn't a very smart man. We found his brains stuffed in a can. Fresh from the grave, wet and cold. Just a little slimy, just a little old. You'll feel there isn't much to them Shows the kind of man he'd been. (cold cooked cauliflower)

One thing John was proud of was his pearly whites A good set of choppers kept him fed right. Fresh from the grave, wet and cold. Just a little slimy, just a little old. See his teeth were strong unlike his sight Just be careful when you touch that they don't bite(white cooked corn)

With all his pieces back safe and sound. Time to put him back into the ground. So now you've met my dear lamented friend That brings this haunting to an end.

To round out the muffin tin and complete the Tale of John I added a little liver(spam), maggots(rice), heart(peeled tomato), vomit(bean and corn salsa), finger tips(hot dog tips) and broken bones(shaped bread sticks).

Are you still with me? I know a little gross for the younger crowd but my older monkeys loved it, Jack was enthused about eating all the "body parts", Grace was a tad spooked and Hannah was clueless. The rest were impartial. I had fun!




Friday, October 17, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous-Sipping Chocolate


Mr. Mustache seems overflowing with enthusiasm for this over the top chocolate concoction. Guess who didn't get a big mug full? Hannah on the other hand, ah, a girl after my own heart. She loved the chocit-a-milk, as she calls it.


It was a tad bit nippy this morning, my family would say it was down right freezing. Is 66 in the house cold? I don't know, nothing beats bundling up, cozy warm with a blanket, breathing in that cold morning air and hearing everyone go "brrrr, brrr, mom it's cold!" That's a debate we have every fall/winter, guess who wins! Darn tootin' I win. Especially when I offer a truce with a mug of yummy hot chocolate. Over the next few Chocoholic Fridays I will offer up some different variations on Hot Chocolate and maybe a few cookie companions to dunk.

Today's version I just recently came across, thanks to Chemo Wednesday. I needed to distract my woe's so I scooted down to the closest store and found Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookies edition magazine. So many delights, so many calories. And this lovely Sipping Chocolate which they paired with a peanutty biscotti, I prefer pumpkin biscotti myself.

I hope you try this, dunk something in this, or use this as a truce, but mostly I hope you enjoy a great big mug of...

Sipping Chocolate

4 c half and half or whole milk
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 T dark-color corn syrup
whipped cream, optional

In a heavy saucepan, combine half and half, semisweet chocolate, and the chopped bittersweet chocolate. Stir in corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Serve in warm mugs with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Makes 4 one cup servings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ben-isms

Did you know that if you have just one pantyhose it's a pantyhoe? Just thought you would like to know. I'm not going to say what vile thoughts trickled through my head when Ben asked for a pantyhoe today, father forgive me for I have sinned.

The Secrets in the Sauce-Blogathon







Have you seen this button on the side of my blog? If you haven't guessed yet, I love blogging, and the SITS network is awesome! I have found some blogs that would have probably never come onto my radar. Where are my Angels just today won my heart with this funny post about giving Richard Simmons the old one two. Give it a click if you loathed Sweating with the oldies as much as I do. The Peterson's Go Public today posted a brutal confession of eating circus peanuts(you know the orange marshmallow thingies)for breakfast. Love that lady. Last but not least are the three blogs that sparked my creative bug, the three blogs that I look at every day Skip to my Lou, Make and Takes and Today's Creative Blog. All three are a treasure trove of useful, creative and sometimes yummy information.

Head on over today they are having a huge giveaway, one prize every hour, and yes I already have won a fabulous prize from the SITS gals, a gift certificate, from Sweet Funky Vintage, which I ordered the cutest outfit for Grace. Anyway give it a whirl today friends, good luck!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

I actually took this Bakerella-esque picture, Yeah Me!
Hannah enjoyed the brownie batter, can you tell, she transformed into Little Orphan Annie

Just today I was blog stalking and came across a kindred spirit with a sweet tooth, Satisfying My Sweet Tooth is a yummy site full of lots of sweet treats! This week alone she dedicated each day to a different brownie, that's what I call a true Chocoholic! I knew at first glance that this was going to be this weeks Chocoholics Anonymous recipe. Maybe I should rename Friday Peanut Butter and Chocoholics Anonymous, I'm setting a trend here huh? Thank you Grandpa for my deep love of Peanut Butter(especially in oatmeal!).


CHOCOLATE-PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE BARS

1 box Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix
1/2 C peanut butter chips
1/2 C dry roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)

Peanut Butter Filling

3/4 C creamy peanut butter
1 C marshmallow cream
6 T butter, softened
3/4 powdered sugar

Chocolate Glaze
6 oz bittersweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 T butter
1 T light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil, letting foil extend above pan on opposite sides. Coat foil with nonstick spray.Prepare brownie mix as package directs for fudgy brownies. Stir in peanut butter chips and peanuts. Spread evenly in prepared pan.Bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

FILLING: beat peanut butter, marshmallow cream and butter in medium bowl until well blended. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Beat until blended. Spread evenly over brownie.

GLAZE: microwave chocolate and butter, stirring at 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. Cool slightly before stirring in corn syrup. Spread evenly over filling. Refrigerate 1 hour until filling is firm and glaze sets.Lift foil by ends onto a cutting board and cut 6 rows lengthwise and across. Store in fridge to keep firm.
*I posted this recipe before I made them, risky I know! They are hands down to die for delicious! You have to make these fellow chocolate lovers, they are worth the effort.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What would Jessie do? Part two

Have you heard the old saying "Goofy minds think alike", yeah I haven't either, but I just thought is sounded good. Anyway Grace and Jessie's daughter Miss M, Grace's counterpart, must be sharing mental vibes, and I stress the word mental. The next morning little Miss M came out dressed and ready for her day at school wearing the latest fashion craze.
Jessie so kindly e-mailed me these incriminating pictures and left this note. Hi, Becky—now you see why I laughed so hard over your blog today! Good thing that CFS (child fashion services) is not part of the DHS in Oklahoma. Feel free to publish or not. Enjoy!
So, what did Jessie do. She did exactly what I thought she would do, let her baby be free! Way to go you liberating mama. Time to bring out that color wheel and teach our ladies how to properly accessorize.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

W.W.J.D.?-What Would Jessie Do?

I have a fabulous best friend, who happens to be a fabulous mom! These are the moments that I ask myself "What would Jessie do?" Sweet Grace came downstairs yesterday dressed and ready for school. One look at the fashionably challenge child and I couldn't help but ask myself "do I or don't I let her exit the house ready for the circus". Jessie is so awesome when it comes to these parental dilemmas, not that I'm saying her kids are more fashionably challenged than others(love you guys!) I'm just saying she would let her children be their own individual.
So...What did I do. Do you really have to ask yourself that silly question? I made her change of course! I'll be accepting that oppressive mother of the year award now, thank you very much. Is there any hope for me Jessie? Nah! I'm a lost cause.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Well, We Tried

Do you have a love/hate relationship with General Conference? Twice a year we try our darndest to watch, listen and learn from the leaders of our church as we watch the broadcast on TV. Twice a year different methods are used as we try to include the children in the spiritual experience that we often have felt while watching the speakers. Twice a year we at some point fail to capture the attention of several of the children as it becomes to much of a temptation to giggle, laugh, and play as they sit comfortably in their home. This year Hannah-Nana did not help, watch, listen and learn why she is such a nut head!


video

After this Wild Woman finished coloring it took 30 minutes to stop laughing hysterically. Thank goodness for the DVR.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous-Reason #159 why I'm a chocoholic, Identity Theft

Bad picture, I know. Sorry no chocoholics recipe this week, just reason number 159 why I eat chocolate in abundance, Identity Theft!
See this dork boy? I gave birth to this child, amazing huh. This past week my middle schoolers were given a 6 week grade check. Nothing for the record, just a report of progress. Ben had one grade that was less than acceptable. We chatted about the problem and I decided to e-mail his teacher to discuss the matter. In the e-mail I invited her to give me a call if she wanted. Well she did.
And....... this is how it went.(Duane did the chatting, I was getting the elementaries from school)
Teacher: "Mr. Summers I got your e-mail and I understand you had a talk with Ben last night. I was hoping that when Ben got to class today he would have a better attitude."
Duane: "OK"
Teacher: "But when Ben came into class today he had a carefree attitude."
Duane: "Really?"
Teacher: "Ben has been very talkative and disrupting the class. He feels he has no friends but that is because he talks so much and tries to be the class clown so much, that none of the other students can get their work done."
Duane: (in shock thinking, Ben has crossed the line, he's being a dork everywhere, he can't stop) "Uh-Huh"
Teacher: "He was even talking while I was trying to teach the class. He was so disruptive that he did not get his work done. This will lower his grade even more."
Duane: "I'm sorry, we'll have another talk with him and I'll have Becky give you a call when she gets home."
So during Duane's father son chat with the boy the teacher calls back yet again.
Teacher: "Mr. Summers I need to apologize and eat a little crow."
Duane: "OK"
Teacher: "I have two Ben's in my classes throughout the day. I mixed your son up with the other Ben. Your Ben is a delight to have in class, he's actually kind of quiet. The only reason his grade is so low......"(sorry our beeswax)
Duane: "Thank you very much."
Identity Theft comes in many forms, this one had us rolling on the floor with laughter. Thanks Mrs. L, your mishap was priceless! Chocolate anyone?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Recipe Box Swap-Lunch


It's the first of the month and that mean Recipe Box Swap time at I Have to Say. October's monthly them is lunch, and one of my favorite lunch time treats, is chicken salad. I love a mean chicken salad sandwich(Chick Fil-a and my friend Lisa kick butt in the sandwich dept.) but this is the recipe with noodles and fruit. Feel free to add curry if you're feeling spicy that day. I love, love, love this recipe. It's even great if you cheat and buy one of the rotisserie chickens. Enjoy!


Chicken Salad

5 chicken breast, cooked and diced
3 c celery, diced small
3 c green/red grapes, halved
3 c mandarin oranges
3 c pineapple tidbits
1 12oz pkg small shell macaroni

Combine salad ingredients and chill in refrigerator for several hours.

Dressing: 1 ½ c mayo
1 ½ c sour cream
6 T dried parsley
6 T green onion, chopped
3 T lemon juice
1 1/2 t salt
1 ½ t pepper
Mix dressing ingredients and chill. Pour salad and mix well.

But if we're talking lunch, ladies, I have to plug our favorite lunchtime treat Muffin Tin Monday. Every Monday this blog hosts the Muffin Tin Mommas. I have a blast coming up with creative ways to feeds the monkeys in my zoo. This lunch was shape themed. Fun, huh?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday-Shapes

Was I just over thinking this challenge or was it a bugger for the rest of you? This week's Muffin Tin Monday challenge was SHAPES! How easy is that, right? Well I wanted to find actual foods that were in an actual shapes, not just cut out shapes(which would have been adorable with pumpkins, leaves, ghost, you get the fall theme).
My first thought was star fruit! How cool is fruit shaped like a star, except duh, it's almost October what store in my neck of the woods has star fruit. Next funky shape that came to mind was a pierogi, which we included, but Hannah was not about to touch it.
Well here is our offering for this weeks Muffin Tin Shapes:
  • Square-cheese cubes
  • Triangles- Triscuit triangle crisps
  • Circles- Red Globe grapes
  • Ovals- Cherub grape tomatoes
  • Rectangle- Sugar wafer cookies
  • Semi-Circle- Potato and cheese pierogi

Any suggestions about how to make pierogi's more appealing, they just look so cool. Well we tried.







Friday, September 26, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous-Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love blogging about chocolate! Want to know why? Well, it's the chocolate! Not just any kind of chocolate but what I call chocolate love. Texas sheet cake love, Reeses peanut butter cup love, Chocolate Lovers Champs love, and now my newest chocolate love, chocolate chip cookies made with bittersweet chocolate chips love. YUM, YUM, and double YUM! Thanks Sally. Let me wipe the drool.
Sally brought over some cookies she and her kiddos had made and I was sold on bittersweet chocolate chips at first bite. The contrast between the sweet cookie dough and the chocolate was phenomenal! This weeks recipe is a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe but I used these chocolate chips instead.

One note about these chocolate chips they are bigger than normal chips, how sweet is that.

Hershey's(with Ghirardelli chocolate chips) All-in-One Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 c Butter; softened
1/2 ts Salt
1 c Granulated sugar
2 Eggs
3/4 c Packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 c All-purpose flour
2 ts Vanilla extract
1 ts Baking soda
Heat oven to 350 F. Beat butter, sugars, vanilla and salt in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Sift together flour and baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until done. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool. Cool completely. About 5 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Jack

This is my Jack, 4 of 7, mister smack dab in the middle. Out of all our kiddos he is the most like his dad, curious, analytical, figity, skinny little chicken legs.
Yesterday was little man's birthday and for me it was a wonderful day spent getting to know my Jack a little more. Does that sound awful? You should know your kids, right? But honestly sometimes my little ones I feel can get lost in the shuffle. Please don't get me wrong, I am very active in all their lives, but how often do we spend one an one with out little guys (And don't tell me if you go out on weekly dates with each individual child, or that you hold personal ice cream interviews with them, I don't need to know).


He is such a complex little man. All this outward energy, but still so shy and insecure.
He is a purest, plain vanilla ice cream(except for lately, he likes cookies and cream, Duane's favorite, I think a little cancer induced psychology into that new liking), plain glazed Krispy Kremes, only spaghetti noodles(nothing else, nothing homemade), but he will eat casseroles with onions, peppers, and whatnots.
He adores his big brother Ben, tears fill my eyes now as I think how loyal he is to him. Yesterday during one of our little dates I marveled at how often he spoke of Ben, and never in a harsh way. Little man loves and idolizes Ben.
I discovered after 5 years of stewing he still thought Penny's head had fallen off when she died. FYI when your dog dies don't say to your 3 almost 4 years old that her body went to be with Heavenly Father unless you're prepared for years of psychological torment to be done to the little guy. Sorry Jack, I should have explained it a little better.

More than anything I learned that my world has been blessed to have Jack. He was given to Duane and I to teach and love. I hope and pray he always knows how much his momma loves him.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

To Be Three


If only I could say this on 169 "Mooommyyy...people are in my way, get out of the way people." Lately Hannah has a thing for people in front of our car when we are driving. For some reason she thinks they are in our way. Maybe she's channeling my inner thoughts, People get out of my way, bad mood Mama comin' through! Only 1/2 the time am I that crazy, grrrr.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous-This one's for my Grandma


My mom loves German Chocolate Cake! My Grandma every year would make a killer german chocolate birthday cake, but much to my mom's chagrin, not for her birthday. My Grandpa also loves german chocolate cake, so he was the lucky recipient of the delicious, made from scratch cake my mom always envied. Grandma to this day tells of the love and sweat put into the makings of the homemade cake and frosting, no Betty Crocker mixes then my friends. So I thought for this weeks Chocoholics Anonymous I would submit for your baking pleasure.......


Brown Sugar Fudge
the cake my mom always got instead


Did I get your taste buds salivating for German Chocolate Cake? Sorry Charlie, why make it from scratch anymore when Betty does it so well.

2 1/4 c cake flour
1 t soda
3/4 t salt
2 c brown sugar
1/2 c shortening
1 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla
3 eggs
2 squares chocolate, melted


Sift flour, soda, salt into a bowl. Add sugar, shortening, 2/3 of the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes then add rest of the buttermilk, eggs and chocolate. Beat additional 2 minutes more. Pour into properly greased and floured 8 or 9 inch pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 -35 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven cool on baking racks, and frost with your favorite frosting I like this recipe.


Feeling ambitious? Here's the original Baker's German Sweet Chocolate Cake and Frosting Recipe my Grandma used.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Visions of Sugar Plums

A little deceiving isn't she. Hannah an angel? NO! She's Mouse On Cheese!!! Nutcracker time, ugh, yeah, ugh, yeah, I'm a Nutcracker flip flop. LOVE watching the children, LOATHE the driving back and forth for practices, but always in the end my love for them and the monkeys love of performing wins out each year.
So here's the run down of who's who in STCB Nutcracker;
Molly-Chinese(yeah, one of my favortie pieces),
Ben-Chinese(groans from Molly, this should be interesting, no smack down on stage please),
Katie-Child Ginger(tumbling is Katie's thing),
Jack-Party Boy(our shy one, always hesitates but always does it),
Grace-Mouse(such a cute part, she'll be perfect),
and Hannah-Mouse on Cheese a.k.a. The roll we've wanted for all our little ones but never had the right age, so every year we beg and finally it happend.
We have decided to change Hannah's name to Rat on cheese, she's a little to hefty to be a dainty little mouse, rat is more like it. I know I groan ever year about rehearsals, try outs, etc., but in all honesty this year a little normalicy and Christmas cheer will help my down soul. I love watching Molly gracefully dance on pointe, she's so beautiful. Katie has always had this talent to dance, tumble, sing, these perfermances just let her shine. Ben is such a ham! Where did he get it from? He just loves to be up on stage, and I love watching him. Jack is so shy, I'm glad he does The Nutcracker, every year I think a bit of his shell is cracked, plus he's such a handsome little dude, how can you not love watching him wave back at you on stage. Grace is growing! My sweet little baby is now a little girl who loves her ballet and tumbling classes this year, Nutcracker will be a whole new experience for her. Little Em will get her chance some year, just wail baby and visions of sugar plums will dance in your head too!

Each day to live....

Finding the little things in the day that make me smile.



Duane's last Dance

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