Has it been too long?

What can I say? It’s summer time. Mind you, we’ve spent half our summer so far dealing with record rainfall, but still. There have been many trips to the park, a visit from my dad, Canada Day celebrations and lots of days playing in the backyard on the trampoline.

And now I’m going to get busier for the next two weeks with VBS. We are doing a pioneer theme and I’m running the memory verse room for the younger kids (4-6 years old or so). I get to set it up like a pioneer schoolroom, something I first saw as very challenging but now am having a good deal of fun with.

Anyway, I’m not making any promises regarding new material in the next few weeks. Maybe when things slow down at the end of the month.

I hope you’re all having a fantastic summer!

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Filed under Blogging, Holidays

For the record

Chocolate chip cookies made with part butter, part peanut butter are, in a word, fantastic.

Like, really, really good.

Mike said he doesn’t like them that much more than regular chocolate chip cookies, but I’m a big peanut butter fan, so for me, they were awesome. I will make them again. And again.

Here’s my recipe, in case you’re hunting for a good one. The best trick I know is to NOT overbake these. Pull them out when they are just barely brown on the bottom. They will actually be just undercooked inside, but not to the point of being doughy.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (or, if you like, Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies)

3/4 cup softened butter (or for the peanut butter variety, use 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup peanut butter)

1/4 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar

Blend butter and sugars with hand mixer until fluffy.

Add 1 egg and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups flour (I use unbleached all purpose), 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt (if you used salted butter or peanut butter, use 1/4 tsp salt). Mix dry ingredients into wet.

Fold in chocolate chips. I never measure them, but just make sure there is a decent amount mixed through the dough. I’ve also used peanut butter chips and they turn out double-yummy. Did I mention that I like peanut butter?

Round on spoon and drop onto cookie sheets. Bake for eight minutes (that’s how long they take in my oven, hey may take longer in yours). Allow cookies to sit on pan for one minute before removing to wire rack to cool.

I have adapted this recipe from one a dear friend gave me years ago. Thanks, Marcy!

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Filed under Food Blogs, Home Sweet Home

Birthday Season

Would someone please tell my womb that May/June is off limits next time? Thanks.

May 21st was Ben’s first birthday (apparently I wrote my post on his birthday so late in the day that it registered as the 22nd. Oops). June 1st was Jenny’s sixth birthday and today is Erik’s third birthday. After this one we get a three month break until Elias’s fifth birthday. Phew. Busy, busy.

Erik got up this morning looking pretty sleepy. I wished him a happy birthday and he said, “Where my cake?” Because to a three year old, the birthday is apparently all about the cake. I think Jenny’s question on her birthday was, “Where are my presents?” Erik will get there.

Anyway, it’s busy, so posts are few and far between. It’s not just because of birthdays, but also because of of the Stanley Cup Finals (Mike is a HUGE Canucks fan) and this last weekend, our church family camp. Family camp was a blast. I wore myself out going out on a canoe twice, a kayak twice, and back and forth all over camp because I kept forgetting things in my cabin. Thanks, brain, for helping me get all that exercise!

At least hockey will be over after tonight. The big question is whether this game will leave my husband, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, father-in-law and countless other fans, elated for the rest of the summer or depressed. I’m going to watch the game but I’m a bit nervous….the mood is not going to be great if they don’t pull this one off.

Enough of that.

I made The Pioneer Woman’s iced coffee overnight and had some this morning. Cold brewing really does make a smoother cup of coffee. Who knew? Today I’m thinking about tweaking my standard (and wonderful) chocolate chip cookie recipe to include a portion of peanut butter in place of the butter. Here’s hoping it works!

And that, ladies and gentleman, is all she wrote.

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Poem for an afternoon in June

One in his bed, one in the bath,

Two on the trampoline, having a laugh.

Laundry is done, waiting to fold.

Kids are all happy, no one to scold.

This is a good afternoon for a mother,

I’m so very glad I’m not any other.

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Filed under Happiness

Tidbits

Jenny is turning six tomorrow. I am having a hard time believing it. She is talking constantly about the presents she’s going to get, the friends that will come to her party, and her pink, pink, PINK cake. I’m strategizing for the party and all that pink. White cake turned pink, pink raspberry filling (and maybe some pink cream cheese icing as filling, too?), pink icing and pink flowers. Did I mention that pink is Jenny’s favourite colour. Yeah.

We have a cold. Erik got this cold, started coughing, and went from sort of sick, to sick with pneumonia, overnight in the ICU sick. This is the third time he’s had pneumonia that we know of. I am ready for this to end, for him to be healthy. Which leads me to my third tidbit…

I have been completely absorbed in the book A More Excellent Way by Henry Wright. My in-laws went to his course in Georgia last year and to another one last month. Their lives have been changed. This book and the Be In Health ministry throws a wrench into everything you thought you knew about illness and health. What if you repented and renounced bitterness, fear, jealousy, etc. and were healed? Thousands of people have done just that. Healed of cancers, healed of allergies, chronic, inherited illnesses, etc. I was skeptical until I started reading the medical science behind it and the testimonies of so many people who have gone through this. Mike and I were already planning to go to the For My Life course in Georgia in the future, but now it feels even more important that we go, just to get a handle on where some of these issues are coming from. I am a broken, damaged person probably holding on to things I don’t even recognize. The idea that my physical issues (difficulty losing weight, low immune function, fatigue, allergies, etc) could be tied to my spiritual health has never occured to me before.  The possibility that I have passed some of this to my children already is disturbing. I want to be healthy and whole and I want my husband and children to have the same.

Ben is sleeping until four or five in the morning now. We spent a week sleeping on our hide-a-bed in the living room, letting him cry. I wore earplugs. It worked. I’m pretty happy with where he’s at now and won’t mind if he keeps that early morning feeding for awhile longer. He’s still nursing once after that around eight and at two before naptime and also at bedtime. Four feedings in a twenty-four hour period for a one year old is still a lot compared to some kids, but compared to before, when he was probably having as many as eight feedings a day, it’s good.

I’m getting a tetanus shot on Friday. Jenny and Elias are getting boosters for diptheria, pertussis, tetanus and polio. I told them I would go first. That doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to it.

I haven’t done anything very creative for quite awhile. I’m looking forward to making Jenny’s cake for that very reason. Yes, it’s just going to be eaten, but it is something I really enjoy.

That’s it. I figured I owed the blog at least a little bit of updating.

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Filed under Illness and Injury, Life, in general

Multi-tasking

First off, today was Ben’s first birthday. I made him a cake (which ended up tasting like baking soda…but at least the icing was good), we made a big meal for family and he seemed to enjoy his day.

I decided a while back that I was going to cut Ben’s hair today. It’s part of my obsessive perfectionist issues. I cut his hair at exactly eight months, I cut it again at exactly ten months…you get the picture. I imagine one day I’ll get over it.

So he needed a bath rather desperately after digging into that awful cake. The last few baths he’s had he screamed his way through, so I decided to get in with him. I cut his hair a bit before I ran the water in the tub and figured that would be all I could do because of how wiggly he was being. So we got in the tub, he didn’t freak out (much) and I gave him a good scrub. Then I decided that I may as well try to cut his hair a bit while he was in the tub and his hair was wet. It was ridiculously long before, but I don’t feel quite ready to buzz him yet. So I got the scissors and a comb and started randomly grabbing chunks of hair and snipping away. All the while I’m thinking, “This is probably a bad idea. It’s going to look terrible…I don’t even know what I’m doing!”

So he sat for a few minutes and a few snips and then squirmed and splashed so much that I decided to give up. But then the perfectionist in me reminded me of how uneven the whole thing was going to look. Okay, fine. So I did the only thing I could to get him to settle down. I nursed him. In the bath. While cutting his hair. It worked.

And not only did it work, it worked well. I got it done and it looks great. The parts that don’t look so good are those that I did before the bath, trying to be more precise. The rest of his hair was just combed up straight and then about half an inch or so cut off. I grabbed pieces as I could and tried to get each part of his head. In the end, we were covered in hair and had to shower off, but at least it got it done. Now I can get used to him looking like a little boy instead of a baby before I buzz him with the rest of the boys in the family.

Here’s a few pictures. 🙂

Before

After

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Filed under Holidays, Kiddos, Life, in general

Exhaustion Disease

Back in the early months of my marriage, I made up an illness. It’s called “exhaustion disease”. Sometimes it’s clearly my own fault – when Mike and I were first married we often stayed up into the wee hours of the morning talking and laughing, playing games and watching movies. There was one time after Jenny was born when we were so tired that we made up this whole story about people with pepper addictions, and how all of society in this fictional world was dealing with pepper addicts. There were different types of peppers, standard black, white, or exotic rainbow pepper. Sneezing would be considered the ultimate high, hence the pepper. Anyway, we found it so hilarious that we wrote up a whole page of ideas in a notebook (yes, we are geeks, thanks for asking!). We must have been up until at least two in the morning laughing hysterically at our oh-so-clever idea. And then, in the morning, when we tried to relive that by reading our notebook page of thoughts, it just wasn’t funny anymore. The only thing left over then was this terrible exhaustion.

Of course, having small children means that all too often the exhaustion is not really my fault at all. They have needs and desires and demands and Mama gets to take care of most of them.

After painting the living room on Monday and rearranging the furniture yesterday, I figured on today being a restful day. My mastitis is clearly not gone and my muscles ache and protest at nearly any amount of movement. I’m sure that getting a good night sleep would have helped this to some degree, but I was up past midnight anyway. Ben woke up just as I was going to bed after finishing a movie (Temple Grandin – if you haven’t seen it yet, watch it). He stayed in our bed all night and fed too many times to count. And then, before Mike had left for work, I got this strange feeling lying there in bed. I opened my eyes and there was Elias, sitting on our bed watching me sleep. It would have been creepy if he had not had a sweet smile on his face. But still, it wasn’t even eight o’clock yet! (I’m not a morning person…)

So today, I am suffering from exhaustion disease. I fell asleep sitting up in my rocking chair this morning. I had been holding Ben and then put him down and when I next paid any attention to what was going on, Erik was on my lap instead. Talk about confusion. So I moved to the couch and stayed there until after Mike went back to work after lunch. Eventually I managed to haul myself off of the couch to make lunch, but let me tell you, it was not easy.

I’d like to crawl into my bed, put some earplugs in my ears and a sleep mask on my eyes and sleep for at least twenty-four hours. I think that might just be the cure.

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Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Life, in general