March 30, 2015

Scenes From A Sunday

There are just some days that are so wonderful you want to keep the memory of them safe somewhere. For me...this is that place. Today was a simple, cozy, family day. An ordinary day. But it was so special I know that someday I will want to return to it and relive it in my mind and heart.

Today was the day my little Flynn waited all week for. Today we baked Easter sugar cookies. And Grandma came to help. : )

My baby rolled and cut and placed the cookies on the sheet.

She has the very best teacher, you know.

As I set up the table for the icing and decorating, I once again thought of how quickly time passes. I thought back to the baking days when I had all littles...and I did all the rolling and cutting and baking. Now...they can do it on their own. And I'm sad. But just a little. Because isn't that what parenting is really all about?

We had fun icing and decorating...

and someone had fun mixing colors. : )

We have cookies for days!

But we did have some favorites. : )

After we finished, Flynn asked Grandma if she would rock her baby doll.
(I adore this moment.)

And to finish off our wonderful day...Sunday dinner of Chicken and Waffles.

Ordinary days really are the most extraordinary.

Have a wonderful, blessed Holy Week, my friends.

March 28, 2015

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Sometimes you need a little something sweet. Maybe just something sitting on your counter looking pretty. Maybe something to slice and treat yourself to with tea. Or maybe something to serve as an afternoon snack to your little ones to make an otherwise ordinary Tuesday afternoon special. This is that something. A quick, easy, sweet- but- not- too- sweet cake. I found this recipe in one of my favorite books...The Cake Mix Doctor. Try it sometime.'re welcome. ; )

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

  1. 1 regular size chocolate bar
  2. 1 18 oz. yellow cake mix( I like Duncan Hines)
  3. 1 3.4 oz. box vanilla instant pudding
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 1 cup vegetable oil
  6. 4 large eggs
  7. 1 6 oz. bag semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Spray a Bundt pan with Pam and dust with flour.
  2. Chop the chocolate bar into small, thin pieces. Set aside.
  3. Mix cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, and eggs in mixer.
  4. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  5. Beat 2 minutes more.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour into pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes at 325 degrees.
  8. Cool 20 minutes. Run knife around and invert onto serving plate.
  9. Enjoy!

March 26, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Today I am thinking about...

How very much our children learn from us. Not necessarily about the things we consciously teach them... but rather about the things they learn from us by simply watching. Children learn how to live through direct observation of their parents and caregivers on a daily basis. They learn how to to to to to to interact. They learn how to become wives and husbands and fathers and mothers...through our own actions. What a tremendous responsibility! But what an honor as well. What made my mind go to this profound place today? Well, I was reminded how much our little ones learn by our example just yesterday when Flynn asked me to help her with this...

The past few days, Flynn has been playing with her baby doll. She has been playing Mommy. Yesterday she brought me a piece of paper and a pen, and asked me to write the words she said. Then she proceeded to dictate her To Do list for today. You see, she was going to be the Mommy today. And she wanted to compile a list of things to accomplish. As she spoke and as I wrote, I realized that these are the things she sees me doing on a daily basis. Today, when she woke, she asked me what time it was. Nine o'clock was her baby's bath time. And at nine sharp we gave her baby a (pretend) bath. I watched in amazement as she recreated every step I complete as I bathe and help her dress. Then we got breakfast. And she made me coffee in her kitchen center. And we checked off her list. At first glance, it seems like a simple game of playing house. But beyond that, I believe it is actually an opportunity for a little girl to learn how to love and care for others and acquire the skills and foster the emotions necessary for her later in life. I am grateful for days like these. I am thankful I can play dolls again with my daughter. But I am also thankful to Flynn for the reminder...My children learn from me. Even when I don't know I'm teaching. : )

This is Baby. And she is well cared for. : )

Here are some photos of the past week in our cozy home...

Flynn was invited by her Bestie...and cousin...Cambree to see Cinderella! They had the best time, and I am so thankful to my niece Audra for taking Flynn. : )

We also went to the dentist. Yes...we do that as a family too. Here we are I am reassuring her it isn't really that bad. And in fact it wasn't! Eighteen years...four cavities! What's the secret you may wonder...I have NO idea!!! Other than we don't drink soda or juice. : )

I gave the mudroom a good scrubbing...but I didn't pack away these yet. I am well aware of March weather in Pennsylvania!

It may finally be sunny...And we may finally be able to see the driveway...but it is still freezing outside!

This has nothing to do with anything...except I really love pancakes on Sunday mornings.

We had a busy week...We also went to a Lenten Penance Service. This little lady was so well behaved as she waited for all of us...she had ice cream for dinner! My treat? A clean soul, of course? OK...and a Cappuccino Crunch cone too. : )

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!
The days are getting longer...Enjoy!

March 23, 2015

A Touch Of Easter

When the green gets packed away the day after St. Patrick's Day, the bunnies and eggs come out. Here is a peek at our Easter home...

Bunnies peek at us from their spot on the kitchen table...

but they are not close enough to get at these! : )

The hearth room gets a fresh new look...

with a fun Easter mantle...

and a cute new look on the holiday tree...

with bunnies, carrots, and chicks galore!

Bunnies are everywhere!

They smile from their spot on the phone table...

and wave from the top of the bookcase.

The Easter coloring books and videos are ready to add some holiday fun...

as our yummy smelling Chocolate Bunnies candle burns every evening in our country home.

Happy Easter, friends!

March 21, 2015

This Makes Me Happy...Winning!

Well, actually winning is just a bonus. Meeting new people and making amazing friends in this wonderful world of Blogland is the true prize. : )

However,  I was lucky enough recently to win not one, but two fun giveaways on some amazing blogs I read. First I won this super interesting book...

This is not the actual copy...I actually finished it and lent it to a friend.
I enjoyed this book so much and am so thankful to my dear friend Kathleen who blogs here.
Thanks again, Kathleen!
And just a few days ago, I received this happy mail...
What a wonderful assortment of spring goodies!
Those eggs?! Amazing!
I was so excited to receive this from a brand new friend, Carrie, who blogs here.
Thank you so much, Carrie!
So there you have it...some sweet friends who made my day a bit happier. Feel free to visit these wonderful bloggers and perhaps make a new friend yourself.
 Winning...and blogging...make me happy!

March 19, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Today I'm thinking about...

...not taking feeling good for granted! We are all on the mend here. The sheets are washed, the Lysol sprayed, and the door opened to let the fresh...if still yet chilly...air in. I have to tell you, I am so thankful to be cooking and schooling and folding laundry again! Thanks for the kind words and prayers...they were felt and appreciated. : )

I am also thinking about switching gears...from St. Patrick's Day to Easter! They are super close this year, which means we will be saying goodbye to all things green, and pulling out the bunnies and eggs soon. As in tomorrow. But before we do, here is a look at the past week in our country home...

Spring is near...and soon we will be swinging and rocking and sipping drinks out here.
(Instead of rushing out without shoes or a jacket to snap a quick picture before running back inside.)

I couldn't wait to dig out the Easter mugs...this one is just too cute to not use. : )

Sunday morning was the first I felt like eating in French Toast it was.

And then it was the night before St. Patrick's Day...and we celebrated with a special bedtime story and snack. Peyton made chocolate chip cookies with green chips. Always buy an extra bag at Christmas, and pick the red ones out. : )

St. Patrick's Day Breakfast was fun...
and everyone has the fruit dip recipe, but just in case you don't...mix 8 oz. cream cheese with 8 oz. marshmallow cream. That's it. : )

My littlest leprechaun and I set the table while the big kids worked...

and our Irish dinner was delicious!!! Simply chop up some red potatoes, some cabbage, an onion, and some bacon. Cover with foil, and bake in a 400 degree oven for an hour or until done. I put it under the broiler for a minute to crisp the bacon too. Then I steamed some carrots and pan fried some kielbasa and we were set!

After dinner, we played some fun games...Uno Attack, anyone?...and took the obligatory photo. We were so happy Grandma came to celebrate with us! And if you see an extra face there, that is Madison's BFF Jessica. : )

We finished off the night with Peyton's traditional Lime Jello Cake for dessert.

And that is a wrap on St. Patrick's Day 2015!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.
I heard a rumor we here in Pennsylvania may be seeing some snowflakes fly!

March 16, 2015

Keepin' It Real...I (Still) Have Issues

A little over a year ago, I shared this post about some of the issues I have with certain things. I came clean about how those seemingly harmless things really freaked me out. I am back to share some more things that make me who and what I am...weird. : ) Just keeping it real around here! So here goes...

I am a homebody. I love being home. I could go days without leaving.
And have. : )

I like people. I really do. And if I do go out with friends, I actually have a good time.
Right, Tara?
But for the most part...I'm quite happy being a hermit homebody.

I love retro game shoes. As in...LOVE.
I watch them on Game Show Network, and actually forget for awhile that it really isn't 1985.

Or 1975. : )

I don't exercise. Or work out. Or go to the gym.
Or whatever the term is these days.
I just don't.
I don't enjoy it.
I can think of a million other things I'd rather be doing.

See...I'm not the only one.

And...I have a fear. A legitimate fear...of raw eggs.

Like...I could almost wear this when I have to use them.
They just freak me out.
I truly feel like I will get violently ill if I come in contact with them.

Except that...I love raw cookie dough.
I could eat this entire bowl by myself!
Now explain that one. : )

A big shout out to Pinterest for all the pics.

Well, there you go.
Now, please...share some of your issues with me.
Let me know I'm not alone. : )