Saturday, November 28, 2015

Blessed Mom of Goofy Boys....


It was wonderful to have all three of my children in one place for Thanksgiving!  I was one happy momma and couldn't seem to get enough hugs.  

We had a delicious feast featuring the traditional turkey and dressing.  And we shared lots of laughs - especially when I tried to herd Bonnie, Ben and Sam together for a new "Mom & Kids" photo.....  

Take #1 - Bonnie had the yawns
Almost, except Bonnie had the giggles
So, Ben kicked in with the faces...and Sam started with the bunny ears....
Which had us all laughing
And laughing some more...
And laughing (sensing a pattern here yet???)
I don't know....it just sort of went south at some point

I blame it mostly on the boys, though
Ben had this weird thing going on with his eyes....deliberately!  Bonnie and I got the giggles.  Sam kept moving out of the frame....it was just feeling futile....and so I finally said "Goofy Picture!"

And Ansleigh photobombed us!!!
But, I did manage to settle on one this one shot as the most acceptable.  


However, all the rest are just as precious to me!  Each time I look through them, I am reminded of what a fun evening it was....and how much my stomach hurt from laughing with my kids.  Now, how blessed is that?!?!?  

I hope your Thanksgiving was as relaxed and enjoyable as mine.  Let us keep that spirit of thankfulness in our hearts as we move into this holiday season!

Blessings, 


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Homemade Oatmeal Cookies - For Real!!!

Lately, I have gotten into the habit of baking up a batch of cookies on Sunday afternoon or evening.  (Don't know what has gotten into me.....especially since I didn't get around to this batch until Tuesday evening!)

My reasoning is that anything I make will undoubtedly be healthier and more enjoyable than anything I can buy at the market. 

Having said that, the amount of time and effort I put into baking is minimal - because, face it, by the time I get around to this part of the day, I am usually ready for some "down time" before the week starts.  When one works full time during the week, the weekends are usually spent catching up on the homefront - cleaning, laundry, shopping.  Baking gets allotted a pretty meager amount of time.....and I am willing to bet that most of you can relate!

To keep it simple, I generally start with a pre-packaged cookie mix.  (Yep, I am all over that whole semi-homemade thing!)  Our favorite is the Betty Crocker bag of Oatmeal cookie mix.  Super easy, super inexpensive, super quick - not 3 strikes there, but a total Home Run!!!  And I figure that since these are oatmeal based cookies, they have to be at least a little bit healthy....right?

Just melt a stick of butter (real butter - margarine does not enter this house!) in your large mixing bowl.  Add in one egg and 1 tablespoon of water; then stir in the bag of cookie mix.  To change it up and add a little texture, I generally add in about 1/2 of chopped walnuts (no exact measuring - I just grab a big handful out of the jar of chopped walnuts I keep around).  If I want the cookies to be really special, I add a handful of chopped dried cranberries!   

Now, the secret to keeping it easy peasy is to use parchment paper on your cookie sheet.  Do not skip this step!!!  (Have I mentioned that discovering parchment paper has changed my life?!?!?!?)  Bake in a 350 degree oven until they are just beginning to turn golden. Then remove from the oven, let sit a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet, then move them to paper towels to completely cool.  (Trust me, they stay a little softer and chewier than they will if you let them cool on a wire rack!) 

Parchment paper and paper towels - essentials in this baking venture!
This yields about 3-1/2 dozen cookies, which are just the right size for snagging for snacks.  In fact, you can eat 2, or even 3, without feeling too guilty!

So, next time you're in a hurry for a semi-healthy snack that tastes like you baked it from scratch (or, in my case, better than scratch), try these cookie mix cookies.  Your family will love you!!!


Stay well and be blessed, Friends!

Jane

Capturing a Magical Light

After several gray days of frigid temperatures, along with a bit of ice and a flurry or two of snow, the sun shone brilliantly on New Year&...