Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

our trick-or-treaters
who needs candy when you have the world's cutest chicken?!
sure love these five

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

YouTube Tuesday.

So, most of the clips that I have posted are funny, today's isn't.  But it IS beautiful.

This is one of SoulPancake's videos from their My Last Days series and let me tell you, every one of the videos in that series is worth watching.  This video will most likely make you cry.  It may also make you uncomfortable.  And it will definitely make you think more about your life...

Whatever it does, let me tell you that it WILL be beautiful and totally worth 8 minutes of your time.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A taste of Halloween.

The pumpkins are carved...


And the costumes have had a dry run...


Halloween is just so much fun with a bunch of kids in the house.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

YouTube Tuesday.

I went as long as I possibly could without posting a Jimmy Fallon clip, but I caved this week. #jimmyfallonrocks

Monday, October 21, 2013

Marathon Man.

On Saturday Anthony ran the Kansas City Marathon.  I was so proud of him.  This has been a life goal for him for some time and I was so happy that he was able to get it done.  And he did amazing...which made me even more proud.

at 19+ miles
Oh how I love that smile.

almost done!!
We had the kids spend the night with their grandma so that he and I could do all the marathon stuff without 5 kids in tow, and then surprised Anthony by having them all come and cheer him on at the end of the race.


It was an exhausting but sweet day and while I'm really glad that Anthony enjoyed reaching his goal, I'm also not-so-secretly glad that he isn't looking up where he can run his next one.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Giant Ginger Cookies.

The leaves are changing.  There are pumpkins on our front step.  The kids are talking about what they want for Christmas. In other words, it is definitely Fall.

Fall means a lot of things to a lot of people, but for our family, one of the best things about Fall is our Giant Ginger Cookies. We are obsessed with these cookies and frankly so is just about anyone who has tasted them.  We get requests. And if you follow our adoption blog, you'll remember a post about how we made an insane amount of them last year while raising money to send one of the kids from New Hope Homes to school last year.  Teachers still bring them up to our kids.

They are seriously so good and we could not be happier to have them back in our cookie jar.  The recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and, well, you should go make them. today.  And if you are writing them off because you aren't a fan of ginger snaps, let me assure you, these are WAY better.


Ingredients
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil (or shortening)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Directions
In a medium bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat oil (shortening) with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture.

Shape dough into 2-inch balls using a 1/4 cup measure or scoop. Roll balls in the 3/4 cup sugar. Place 2 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 11 to 13 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and tops are puffed (do not overbake). Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

YouTube Tuesday.

There is so much about this that is so wrong...and yet it is so so funny.  Make sure you watch the last one!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

You did what?!

Some people think Anthony and I are spontaneous.  I guess I can see why they feel that way.  I mean, sometimes it seems like we make big decisions out of nowhere.  We show up with a dog or tell everyone we are pregnant after years of saying we are done or, like yesterday, we buy a new car.  But these decisions are never made on a whim...

One of the things that I love most about Anthony, and that often drives me the craziest about him, is how much he thinks and thinks deeply about everything.  When we first starting seeing each other, we had this conversation one day about feeling sorrow deeply.  He was so willing to enter into the hard parts of life and really experience them fully and I was so puzzled by this.  I mean, why not just enjoy life?

But over the years, I have learned to love this part of him and have really become much more open to it myself.  There is definitely a downside to it as I have found myself experiencing more sadness because of my unwillingness to push aside those feelings, but at the same time I feel as though I have become a much kinder, gentler, and empathetic person.

But we don't just think a lot about life we talk a lot too, about a lot of things, all the time.  And these decisions that seem to come out of nowhere are often the results of hours, months and years of conversations.  Conversations that make these decisions feel anything but spontaneous to us.

Of course, when we make a decision to do something about all our conversations, the conversations end and we just do it. I'm usually the one who prompts this.  Mostly because I tend to be the more practical of the two of us, so when I say GO! he's already halfway there.  So after talking for YEARS about getting a dog and when we might do that, one day I just said, "how about today?" and so we just did it.  We had been waiting to adopt again from Rwanda for YEARS and things were looking like they weren't going to happen and we were ready to add another kiddo to the family, so I turned to Anthony and said, "how about another baby?" and well, we...ummm...well, less than a month later I found out I was pregnant.

Anthony's Highlander was the first car we got together.  10 years ago.  We had put 137,000 miles on it and barely any money into it and it was beginning to have some issues come up.  We've wanted to eventually move to a smaller car with better gas mileage, we had the space in our finances, and so the time just seemed right.  So I told him, "how about we just get you a new car?" and that's what we did...


There's a method to our madness and even though it often results in a "seriously?!?!" text from our friends and family, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Buttermilk Pancakes.

Our kids love pancakes.  I mean, who doesn't?!  So I went on a search for a great pancake recipe and found one that we just love.  No more Bisquick, we go from scratch.

added some blueberries today!
We've also learned to make a HUGE batch (or three) and freeze what doesn't get eaten for breakfast.  These pancakes freeze great, and a quick pop in the toaster has also rid our freezer of any Eggo waffles.

Anyway, so here is the recipe from afarmgirlsdabbles.com.

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted, plus more for brushing the heated griddle
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat an electric griddle to 300°, or place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the buttermilk, eggs, butter, and vanilla, and fold to combine. The batter should not be completely smooth. It should appear a bit lumpy.

When your griddle is heated, spread a 1/2 tablespoon of butter around the surface. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup (I like my pancakes on the smaller side...easier to flip, easier to have "just one more"!), pour the batter in pools, leaving an inch or two of space between each pancake. When the pancakes have bubbles on the surface, about 3 to 4 minutes, flip them. Cook until they are lofty and golden, another minute or 2.

Serve warm with additional butter and your favorite syrup.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

YouTube Tuesday.

This one just kills me.  Some people may think the husband was kinda mean for posting this, but I think his reactions are so endearing that it doesn't bother me.  Of course, he isn't my husband and the girl in the video isn't me, so...whatever...enjoy!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Glasses.

I've been wearing glasses since the second grade and have probably only switched frames maybe 8 times.  So roughly every 3 years.

I got contacts in the 8th grade and really only wore my glasses at night for years, but when I was pregnant with Lucy my eyes changed and contacts stopped being comfortable.  Which means that for the last 7 years, my glasses have been a big part of how I look.

Well, it has been about 3 years again since I last got a pair (and also the last time I went to the eye doctor...oops) and so I decided it was about time.

And I took a chance...


What do you think? No, wait, don't tell me. I'm still too unsure of how I feel about them to read what you all think. At least I'm having a good hair day...sigh.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Waving.


Is that not the happiest wave you have ever seen?

So, in case you are assuming that this post is about Matthias learning to wave, let me tell you...he doesn't wave or crawl or really do much beyond sit and spin in a circle.  But he is the cutest little spinner you have ever seen.

Nope, this is about who waves to me while I'm walking.  That's right, fascinating stuff.  But seriously, in the last 8 weeks I have noticed a pattern as to who waves and who doesn't and figured I would share my thoughts, cause, well, why not...

First of all, why do I wave to people?  It isn't like I know all of these people and am trying to say hi.  I'm waving to say a quick thank you for, you know, not running me over.  And I assume that their wave back is a "you're welcome".

But despite my waving to each and every car that avoids me, not everyone waves back and after two months it is pretty easy for me to guess whether someone is going to wave as soon as I get a little glimpse of the driver...

  • Most men wave.  If it is a man driving a pick-up truck, it's almost guaranteed.  Add a beard on the guy and I'll probably get a big friendly smile too.  And not in a creepy way at all, just genuine friendliness.
  • A woman?  Well, they can be pretty inconsistent.  Although, I have noticed that the bigger their sunglasses, the less likely they are to wave.  No joke.
  • Trash trucks and FedEx/UPS.  Probably not gonna wave (except maybe the guy hanging off the back of the truck) and not gonna slow down either.  In fact, it seems like they speed up which kick all sorts of dust and junk up on me.  Totally unnerving.
  • Older people NEVER EVER wave.  Not only do they not wave, but they don't get over until the last second and barely give me enough room to pass.  I figure they value not crossing the dreaded double yellow line, over my personal safety.  We are in the country people, it is okay to move over.

People are so interesting.  The things they value, the way they interact...I find everyone so fascinating.  There are times when I wonder so much about what is going on in the lives of those drivers.  Is that old couple really just growing a little more timid behind the wheel as they get on with age?  Is that man in the pick-up just enjoying a drive out in the country rather than the busier roads of the suburbs?  Are the trucks running late and just trying to make up time so that people like me won't complain about their trash being picked up late...again?  And those women, the one's with the really really big sunglasses, are they really just hiding behind those frames because they are totally overwhelmed by their lives?

Look, all I know is that I'm not just some girl walking on a country road.  There is so much more to me that they don't have a clue about.  In fact, there are a lot of times in my life when I feel like people just assume they know me because I seem to fit so easily in some made up categories, like the ones above.  I'm a christian, so they assume this...I'm a stay-at-home mom so they assume that...

I hope I can grow better at taking the time to actually get to know people instead of just imposing my ideas as to who they are on them.  Just as I hope people will do the same with me.  I feel like the world would really be a better place if we all did that...and took the time to wave to each other.

By the way, I've also noticed that the heavier a bike rider is, the more likely they are to say hi to me while pedaling by. Hmmm...wonder why that is.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

YouTube Tuesday.

If you have not seen this video...OH. MY. WORD...it is like a glimpse into our marriage.  And my guess is that there's a good chance that it will remind you of your marriage too and leave you laughing and saying AMEN at the same time.

It is just so so good.