Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I guess deep frying is a love language around here!

When Jacob asked me if we could make donuts, my first thought was "why don't we head on over to the Dunkin' Donuts and just pick some up, instead!" But, his nine-year old persistence (which I now believe must be a superpower) had me Googling for a fast, easy donut recipe. Now, Google rarely fails me, but this time I walked away thinking that Dunkin' Donuts was sounding better and better.

The following weekend, over some poolside conversation with my S-I-L, Amanda, I mentioned the donuts that were becoming the bane of my existence and she had the answer to my troubles. "Biscuits!" she said. Biscuits??? Could it really be that easy?

Well, friends, on Thursday night Jacob and I headed into the kitchen to make the biscuit donuts and it was easy peasy! Basic steps are to get the basic Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits in the blue can (we used store brand, because we're cheap and they worked fine), peel them apart and cut out a hole. I let Jacob use a small circle fondant cutter that I happened to have in my baking drawer. Then drop them in some hot oil. Once browned, take them out and drain on a paper towel. You can top them with whatever you choose. Jacob wanted powdered sugar, but you could use a chocolate glaze or a plain glaze or sprinkles or cinnamon sugar or a flavored icing...sorry, I got carried away. Anyway, it was easy, it was fun, and they were YUM-O! Jacob liked the donut-making process so much that he suggested we open a donut shop. Good idea, except I'm not sure I want our financial situation resting in the hands of the deep-fried biscuit donut!

Anyway, here are some fun pictures of the whole process and my handsome kitchen helper!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Talkin' toddler

This blog serves so many purposes, but today I'm really using it as a journal/baby book. I want to document the expressive language that Eli has mastered. Hopefully there's at least one other reader out there who's interested in our chatty boy. Some are clear words and some are word approximations he pairs with signs. Here's the list of what he's saying or signing!

Mama (this one took forever!!)
all done
thank you
ice (for ice cream or any frozen treat)
animal sounds for: cow, duck, horse, dog, cat, frog, sheep, pig, monkey, snake, gorilla, fish, bee, lion, rabbit

It amazes me what little minds can do. He's a little sponge and is soaking up everything going on around him. I was truly impressed the other day as we drove home from Mema's house. We were crusing down the road and I hear "ice, ice, ice, ice..." from the back seat. It took me a minute, but then I realized we had just passed our favorite Dairy Queen. Apparently we are living with more than one Smarty-pants!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daddy's helper

“Man is a tool-using Animal.... Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.” ~Thomas Carlyle

Our oldest learned all about that "tool-using Animal" yesterday. Boy, was he psyched when his daddy came inside and asked, "Jacob, wanna use a power tool?" I've never seen him move quite so fast. So, with some trepidation I followed them outside to capture the moments on camera. This is just another one of those father-son moments that I adore watching. This is also another one of those moments that reminds me that he's not little anymore!!

Hey, Jacob! Can you slow down on this whole growing-up-business, please!! I'd greatly appreciate it! Love, Jennifer

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nothing says love like fair food!

We spent Sunday afternoon celebrating Father's Day at my parents' house. Their pool provided some great fun in the sun. After much soaking, both in the water and in the rays, we headed inside for some dinner.

Dinner conversation turned to the days of my childhood when my dad made his own pickles. They were so yummy! That brought us around to one of the best memories of my childhood-- homemade funnel cakes--and my bright idea that we continue to celebrate Father's Day by relieving that memory and having my daddy slave over some hot oil so that his family could gorge on some tasty deep-fried dough covered in sweet powdered sugar.

So, Daddy pulled out his trusty, old Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook and set to work. I was so excited and my sister and I had the opportunity to help. That in itself was a thrill to me. I'd never been allowed to help with funnel cakes as a kid, so this was a privilege I'd long looked forward to!

I apologize that there is no picture of the final products, but they looked so good, that my mind was not in that "you-must-get-the-photo" blog mode, but rather in that "you-must-eat-the-funnel-cake" mode. I hope you all understand!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

These are the wonderful fathers in my life. Pictured here are my father-in-law, who plays a mean game of Scattergories and raised my hubby (for which he should receive some award or prize); my Daddy who has believed in me and encouraged me for these past 31 years, and my hubby, who is an outstanding Daddy to our boys. These men have been such a blessing in my life and I just wanted to take a moment to say THANKS! FOR! EVERYTHING!! I love you all more than words can say!

Although these men are awesome earthly fathers, I have another Father, a Heavenly Father. He knows everything about me and yet He still loves me. He created me and I am fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. He loves me with an everlasting love simply because I am His child. He's my Provider, my Encourager, my Healer, my Comforter, my Strength, my Peace, and my Hope. My God is an incredible Father and on this Father's Day, if you don't know Him as your Father, please take some time to get to know him. Click here to learn more about Him and His love for you!

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Upside down

"What if I should fall right through the center of the earth... oh, and come out the other side, where people walk upside down."
~Alice in Wonderland

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Growing Up!

As of today, we are officially the proud parents of a 5th grader. Jacob finished up his fourth grade year yesterday. He excelled again on his report card and should be extremely proud of himself. We certainly are!

Matt and I were reminiscing recently over Jacob. Although I didn't birth him (thankfully, since he was a giant baby at birth, like Eli) I've known him since he was 2 1/2. He's come a long way! It's such a privilege to watch him grow and mature into a young man. Although he's not a fan of school--SIDEBAR: a teacher asked him once what his favorite thing about school was; his answer, "getting out"--he gets his work done and does it well. He's a smart cookie! I also just love witnessing the time Matt takes to teach him how to treat ladies with respect and act like a gentleman. And, I love even more when Jacob remembers those lessons and acts on them without reminders. He's growing up to be such a courteous and honorable young man, and it makes me proud to be his "bonus" mom (p.s. that links up to a great website I recently found about stepfamilies...I'm loving reading it)!

So, congratulations Jacob on a job well-done and welcome to the fifth grade! We love you!

BTW, isn't he handsome!?!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Week Wrap-up

We had a pretty busy week. So I thought I'd take a minute to fill you all in on what's been going on here! It always amazes me to see how many people have stopped by just to see what we've been up to! We love comments, so let us know you're reading.

Please pardon the list format. It's Saturday, so I've turned on my weekend brain and creative writing just doesn't seem to be happening today!

1. Eli had some great fun the baby pool in our front yard!

2. Jacob had his baseball championship tournament. As I said in a previous post, they won on Monday night, but on Tuesday night, they lost to the regular season champs. Matt went to Tuesday's game and said the boys rallied hard, and were tied for a while, but just didn't pull it out in the end. Jacob played great and nabbed the game-tying RBIs.

3. Eli and I planted some veggies in wheat straw bales in the backyard. According to my dad, this should work just fine to grow our tomatoes and peppers. I can't wait to see (and eat) our yield! Gardening with a 15 month old proved to be challenging and fun. He's a super little helper!

4. Jacob and I tried to head out to pick strawberries after school on Thursday. He's really been wanting to go, but we've been so busy with baseball, birthdays, and other commitments, that it's been hard to find the time. Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse and it rained cats and dogs. We tried to wait it out, but it didn't seem to want to stop, so we sucked it up and paid for a bucket picked by the farmers. Once we got home, Jacob helped me bake a pound cake and for dessert we topped it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream! Yummy!

5. I enjoyed a really sweet moment with a baby boy who is usually too busy to cuddle. He woke early from his nap and spent some quality time in my arms! What a precious time!

6. Only 3 more school days left until summer! Jacob (and I) are SOOOOOO excited! It will be great to have both my boys home together this summer. They've become such great buddies. Recently, Jacob has been trying to teach Eli to catch and has shown some success--I just can't seem to catch it on camera. I love to watch them together!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too!" ~Greg, age 8

The Diamondbacks really showed up and showed off last night! It was the first night of the single-elimination championship tournament for Jacob's league and those boys played like they wanted it, winning 14-4 in the 4th inning!

It was an 8:00 game and I had the privilege of being there to witness the team really come together like never before. You see, the Diamondbacks regular season record is 3-8. Needless to say, they weren't at the top of the standings. But, last night you would have thought they were regular season champs. Each player showed up ready and played with all their heart.

The highlights of the night included one player knocking it out of the park over the left field fence, another player ripping one into the outfield for a triple, and a double play at second and first.

Jacob was a hitter and smacked a line drive past the second baseman. He also made an awesome play at second for an out! As always, he hustled behind the plate and was really in the game last night!

I am so proud of those kiddos! They'll play again tonight (against the regular season champs) at 8:00. Matt will be there to watch and support them.

So, since I won't be there:


Hello, T-R-O-U-B-L-E!

There are no words for the amount of spunk this kid has. The energizer bunny pales in comparison to my spirited and often strong-willed baby boy! Heaven help me!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Birthdays and stuff

You know how there are some people with whom you think so much alike, that you can finish their sentences and know what they are thinking?

Well, that's Matt and me.

A while back, we were sitting at the table enjoying breakfast and I mentioned going to the zoo for my birthday. Matt's response caught me off guard. I believe his exact words were, "What's wrong with you?"

I immediately realized that I had asked him to take a day off from work. He takes pride in providing for us financially, and I asked him to forgo that responsibility.

While I was overanalyzing this, he said, "Will you just get out of my head! I was going to surprise you with a birthday trip to the zoo on Friday!"

I guess great minds think alike.

So, in honor of my birthday, we let Jacob have a day off from school, loaded up the minivan and headed off to one of my favorite places--the NC Zoo in Asheboro. And once we arrived (after taking the scenic route to get there, which is a whole other story) we had a blast. Eli decided to really whoop it up and only slept 20 minutes...the entire day. Apparently sleeping in the car is no longer on his list of things to do. Despite that, we all had a fabulous time!

Here's a peek into our trip!

On Saturday, we celebrated three birthdays--my mom's, my sister-in-law's, and mine--with three different cakes. Matt made mine and did a fantastic job! I truly am blessed! I requested the Milk Chocolate Bar Cake. And, it was DEEE-LICIOUS!

And, just because I think they are the cutest boys ever, here are a few bonus shots (even some self-portraits)!!

Well, I guess that's all for now. Have a fun day! I know we will!