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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Traditions never die

Last week was Easter.  We have traditions...  Traditions that Mike wants to stop because simply the girls know the Easter Bunny doesn't exist.  However, the girls have no intentions of letting the traditions end.  Neither does their momma.

Two years ago I made buckeyes in the shape of eggs -- covered with melted chocolate chips.  Tastes just like a Reese's peanut butter cup!  Though, it would be much more cost effective and time effective if I just buy a bag of the peanut butter cups instead of making these babies.  They're a pain to make.  However, tradition (is it a tradition if we only made it once?!) called for me to make these babies.

For several years now I have hid messages in my girls eggs when they go hunting for eggs around the house.  NOTE:  when kids get older, injuries may happen ... take the eggs outside from now on!  I was so worried my apothecary jars were going to land on the floor the way my girls were making a beeline for those darn eggs.

Anyways, those messages said things like "oops!  Sorry!  Next time!"  or "Sorry!  Keep looking!"  Click on that link so you can read my past blog post.  There was then a paper that indicated they were the grand prize winner -- and they received the gift on behalf of the family (it's always a family gift -- usually a movie).

Well, this year I was completely worn out!  I had SO much I had to do -- that all things Easter went on my back burner.  Yes, I bought plastic eggs.  I bought the candy to go in it.  Did I put the candy in it?  NO ... Katie did it.  Katie also made the little papers because I was just too tired.  She kept up the tradition -- and had a blast.  I think I'm ready for her to do it from now on!  She's such a funny kid.....


Baskets this year came in the form of reusable baskets for the bathrooms.  Clever thinking, I think!!  I am going to do photoboxes next year -- we have a ton of pictures floating around!

Sorry for the horrible pictures... I'm shooting on manual setting and it appears I have yet to master it.  While it looks fine on my little screen but put it on my computer.. well, I get pretty disappointed.

Katie's basket


Maddie's basket:


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yanni ... definitely not a YAWN-ee

My brother and I took piano at the exact same time when I was a teenager -- he might have been 11 or 12.  He was playing Moonlight Sonata within a year.  I was still on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

OK, I kid... but he was a prodigy with the piano!  It was then that Yanni came out with a CD, and just captured our ears.  And our love.  We loved Yanni!  My mom bought the piano book to Yanni's music, and my brother went forth and made miracles sound out of the piano.  Beautiful!

When I was offered a few weeks ago by One2One Network to download Yanni's newest CD "Truth of Touch" and listen to it... I jumped at the chance!  I love calm, beautiful music, and this CD did NOT disappoint!

taken from http://www.yanni.com/

One of my favorites is called "Echo of a Dream" ....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Growing up... her first heels!

Katie looked especially cute one day for church.  She needed a belt for this dress, so I suggested a scarf.  Then I suggested these hot pink pearl beads with a knot in the middle (which she was totally unsure of the entire day, and finally removed them before her Young Woman's class). 

Then, she added her first pair of heels!  We found them at Payless for a very ridiculous price of $5, and they're silver which go perfectly with almost ANY color!

So I made her go outside by our garage and model for me.

You can tell she's very embarrassed by this. :)


These next two pictures.... which edit do you like better?  First one or second one?  Can you even tell?



Her next question on her quest to grow up?  "When can I wear eye shadow?"

My answer?  "Not until you're married.  You're beautiful the way you are."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Making Whoopie Pies!!

I had to laugh when I titled this post "Making Whoopie Pies."  I almost titled it "Making Whoopie", and then thought that probably sounded a little dirty... and totally inappropriate from a mom who blogs mostly about her girls....

It seems like Whoopie Pies are everywhere these days.  I see them advertised at my gas station of all places, they're featured in magazines!  Featured on blogs!  So, I decided they must be really really awesome, and when I saw the recipe in my February Family Fun magazine, I knew I had to get my little baker and get to baking.

So we did!  And we learned a lot!  First lesson to learn?  READ ALL THE DIRECTIONS THOROUGHLY!  Remember in 5th grade where you get a paper that has all these questions on it, and you answer away and think "wow, I'm SO going to ace this quiz!"  Then when you get to the bottom, the last question said "do not answer any of these questions, and turn into the teacher now."  gulp  Oops.  FAILED big time!

Now, I am trying to teach Maddie how to read a recipe, and when I realized that we were doing it incorrectly, it was a great teaching experience.  Now I hung my head in shame....  and happily, they still turned out wonderfully! 

I was practicing my photography with my camera on manual -- so I used this opportunity to snap pictures of Maddie in action.




we did an "oops" here.....





I love all the flour on her face!



You can get the recipe complete with pictures on the Family Fun website, but I transferred it over for you as well.
    • 2 cups flour
    • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ½ cup softened butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup softened butter
    • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1 cup marshmallow crème
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • Red food coloring (optional)
1)  Heat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2)  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla extract.

3)  In a large bowl with a hand mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until evenly blended, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg, increase the speed to high, and beat until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute more.

4)   Pour half the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture and continue beating until just blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat again.

5)  Use a cookie scoop or spoon to place a heaping tablespoon of batter on a prepared cookie sheet. Add more mounds of batter, evenly spacing them, until there are nine on each sheet. Slightly flatten each mound with a spoon.

 6)  Bake the cakes one sheet at a time for 10 minutes (they should be moist and spongy). Let them cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Reline the sheets and scoop, shape, and bake the remaining batter.

7)  Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat all the filling ingredients except the coloring in a medium bowl until evenly blended, about 2 minutes. If you want to give the filling a Valentine hue, fold in drops of red food coloring until the desired tint is reached.
8)  To make each pie, spoon and spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom of a cake, then gently press another cake on top.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We've got volleyball fever!!

Last season I became a volleyball coach.  By accident, really.  We had a volleyball coach, but his work took him away from coaching the girls -- so I took over.  I probably should've let him be the coach when he had time again, but I didn't....  I found that I loved it!

So I coached another season.

This time Maddie joined our team.  Our team is really only for girls 10-12 years old.  Maddie is 9.  So I moved her up to join Katie (she can still play until September).  I went from having 7 girls to having 11 girls on my team.  Woah!  That is HUGE!

But, I'm having so much fun, and seeing the girls progress and excel just brings joy to my heart.

I passed my camera along to one of the moms to take some pictures of all the girls.  I'm just posting my girls this time.  


Watching Maddie bite her tongue as she serves makes my heart happy.  


Watching Katie practice and perfect her serve is wonderful. 





Watching Maddie come off the court at practice and tattle on Katie, makes my heart... mad.  Angry.  Embarrassed.... so I said in clenched teeth "you better git your butt back on that court and I don't want to hear another word about your sister staring at you the wrong way just because you drank out of her water bottle."  I think she got the point.
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