Wednesday, June 30, 2010


One of the things I did for several of our teachers for part of their end of the year gifts was to make these GIANT cookies.
They are literally 12+ inches around!
And so very YUMMY!

I have tried to make cake size cookies before..and they NEVER work!
They are usually too cooked on the edges, and undercooked in the middle.
This however is the most perfect cookie cake you could ever want!
It is soft, not too sugary, and you could customize it in any way!

(That is my cell phone for a size comparison.)
I bought 12" cardboard cake rounds from Michaels.
Wrapped them in tinfoil and the cookies fit just perfectly!
Then I wrapped the whole thing in saran wrap... and prettied it up with a bow!

I added a book of quotes on a couple of them; Tyler's current teacher and last years teacher;...and they all got a card as well.

They were loved by everyone.
By the way, it would be really cute to bring this to a party or as a host gift, or to a staff luncheon type thing, with a pizza cutter attached! SOOOOOOO CUTE!

This is the recipe that I found HERE

Recipe makes one Giant Cookie
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (melted and then cooled)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 butterscotch chips (optional)
You could also add nuts, or m&ms, or anything else you wanted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and the butter. Add the egg and vanilla and cream again. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Line a large baking pan with foil and press the cookie into about a 9 inch will spread to 12 inches as it bakes.
Bake for 13-16 until the cookie is lightly golden brown. The trick is to NOT overbake.
Let the cookie cool completely on the baking pan so it can have time to stabilize and set up.
Once cool, gently use the foil to lift off of the pan.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ten years!

Ten Years ago today I married my best friend!
He still is my best friend, and so much more.

I am blessed and I seriously couldn't ask for more.

Often, I wonder, how I got so lucky...and I am seriously NOT just saying that either. I truly do. I am honored to be his wife. Honored to have made it this far, and SO certain that we will make it so much further. I know a lot of people who aren't fortunate enough to say the same thing. More so, I am honored to be a family.

So today, I just wanted to throw out a tribute to my hubby... and our marriage...and our love.



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Child's Play

Our yard has literally been a work-in-progress since we bought our house 6+ years ago.
We tried for years to work with what we had and to make it better, but it just wan't happenin'

So last October, we threw our arms up and had a tractor come in and level it all off and rip everything out. We started from scratch.
It has been great since.

One of the projects though was the play structure that my husband built for the kiddos.

It had just been dirt and rocks underneath.
We knew we needed better than that for our monkey children.
So the hubby broke his back working back there...digging out the recomended depth so as to make it safe if those monkeys were to fall.
It took a couple weeks of random half-days to full-days of work.
I want to give him super props for that border. He designed it, had to make it level, and built it all himself. It isn't just sitting there either, so that in a couple years it is broken and missing is all built-in and connected. He really amazes me sometimes!

We researched the options.
Took into consideration cost and long-term life of the product as well as health and environmental issues.
We really wanted recycled rubber...but it is SOOO expensive!
Hubby wanted sand, but all I kept thinking is cat box...
We finally decided on play cedar chips.

They are large pieces of true cedar.
They have been smoothed. They are supposed to be sliver-free. They resist northwest bacteria, and they have a long life before breakdown begins to occur.
We had 6 yards delivered and hubby laid it out in only a matter of a couple hours.
(Much, much lighter then the 25 yards of dirt we had delivered in October.)

Then we laid topsoil, lime, grass seed, and peet moss around it so that we may get some grass back. My hands were blue for two days from the seed.

Anyway, just wanted to share how wonderful it looks...and how much the kids love it.
They have spent more time out there since it was done, then they ever did before.
In case anyone is looking for options...


Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm Back with a sneak peek...

It has been a CRAZY couple of weeks. Between all of the school activities, and the projects I was working on for the teachers, my mom coming into town...and mainly the big birthday party...I was just stretched SO thin!

Today is of school!

I truly can't believe it.
I am rather emotional.
This was a great year, with great teachers and friends, and it is always a little sad.
I get sad because it just means everyone is getting older. Sometimes, the natural course of things is hard for a mommy to deal with! :)
Plus, those faces that you see on a reagular day-to-day basis...the routine that becomes life, just drastically comes to an end.
One of my friends at the school is leaving too...and not just leaving...but moving away.
Yep...a little emotional.
A lot tired.


For the last four days I have been up until some of the wee hours of the morning that I haven't seen for a long time...


Soaking in the childless hours, where I can do nothing but focus.

I am going to recover today....and clean...cause it isn't just my blog that has been neglected a bit. :)

BUT I will give you a little taste of what I have been doing.
Then I will post what they are and how to do some of them etc....throughout the weeks to come.
Though the play structure has been done for a couple years...the ground underneath wasn't. is.
I made a few of these... is THAT big! 12" around.
Best "WOW" kind of recipe I have EVER come across!
I made this too! YUM!!!!!!!!
Frustrating to not know????
Breakfast Casserole for dinner!!!!!
We had a run in with THIS.....

We harvested our first of THESE...

We did something with THESE.....
There was a lot, and by a lot...I mean 24 hours a days for weeks on end...of commotion about the need for THESE....

And this.....
yeah....wanna see it done?????
Gonna have to wait for it....
And this too????
There was a little of THIS.....
And THIS too.
Wanna see it done too?????

A finally a little summer treat for the last day of school......

OHHHHHHHH....and I almost forgot....
AND......I am smack dab in the middle of working on a project from Howdoesshe that I am LOVING!!!
This weekend...
On to our garage sale.
Can't tell you how excited I am....{SHE SAYS SARCASTICALLY~}

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Poor Blog

I have been a bit blog neglectful!
I am sorry.

There is SOOOO much to do at the end of the year, and I feel like my mind is overflowing with so many things to think about, and get done.

It is all I can do to function properly, let alone come up with some semi-intelligent, blog-worthy meandering of thoughts. 

Here in Washington...we have one more week, plus one day of school left. 
I am the room with that come many end of the year commitments...with a teacher gift, and field day, parties, and concerts....

As if that weren't enough though....
on the 12th we have our first Tball games of the season for both Little and Middle
on the 15th my mom comes into town to stay with us
on the 18th my son brings birthday treats to school...
on the 19th is Middle's ACTUALLY birthday AND friend birthday party...
on the 21st is the last day of school
on the 25th we are having a garage sale AND it is our TENTH anniversary
on the 26th, garage sale again, drop dog off at sitters (because)
on the 27th Teen leaves for camp, and we leave for the ocean
on the 3rd of July my sister and nephew, who I haven't seen for 18 months, arrive.

I just feel like I am being pulled from every angle....and that is why my poor blog is being a little bit neglected.
I MORE than promise to get back to NORMAL when school gets out...

Until then........


Friday, June 4, 2010

Have You Seen These????

I A.D.O.R.E. cooking.
I love to cook fresh, healthy food, with no preservatives.
It makes me happy.
(I mean let's get real...I like to make yummy, NOT healthy desserts too....but for my family's sake...I like to keep things pretty clean and healthy in the day-to-day.)

SO.....when I find something new (at least to ME), that might make my job, getting the kiddos to eat, said foods, easier......I.get.really.excited.

SOOOOOO....My Friday Find this week.
Mini Cucumbers from Costco!!!!!!!

My best friend turned me on to them....and can I just tell you...
They are RIDICULOUSLY ca-ute!
They are seedless....
They are sweeter then regular cucumbers...
They are just down right YUM!

I always knew there were mini cucumbers, as I knew that is where pickles came from...but I guess I didn't realize that they tasted like their full size counterparts.

The kids LOVE them.
I peel them and the kids, {and um....ME TOO}....will eat them whole.

Dip them in my home-made-super-yummy-but-healthy-ranch, and it takes them to a whole other dimension of yumminess! Seriously!!!!!
But....we will save that for another day! :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear Tooth Fairy...

We had a big event this week...we lost a couple important teeth...
So we decided it would be appropriate to draw a welcoming message to the tooth fairy.
After all, she has really long busy nights.

What better way for the kids to get involved, and get excited, then to make a giant runway for their favorite little fairy, to make sure she comes to the right house.

I mean, we wouldn't want her accidentally ending up in the neighbors house.

I thought it was really really cute how into the idea middle got.
He was really excited....
He even came up with the message all by himself.....
CAN YOU TELL??????????

It was just a way to make his losing both of his front two teeth, more of an event.

Just a fun activity for kids....well....and mommy too.

Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chicken Corn Chowder

Okay, so I can NOT even BEGIN to explain our love for this soup.
I found the original recipe HERE (one of my FAVORITE cooking blogs),
and after making it many, many, MANY times, I have tweaked it a little,
and made it exactly what we love.

I could go on and on and on about the creamy deliciousness of this soup.
The beauty that is sitting there starring at me, taunting me, when it is all done.

Truly, my whole family enjoys the soup, but the hubby and I drool over it, and fight over who gets the leftovers the next day!

It IS a chowder. It is hearty and thick and filling.
It has many bright colored veggies, and is easily tweakable if your tastes desire!

Chicken Corn Chowder

4 Stalks of celery; CHOPPED
1 red bell pepper; CHOPPED
1 medium onion; CHOPPED
**if desired:
(1 TBS olive oil to saute veggies in)
(1-2 slices JARRED jalenpenos--THESE DO ADD HEAT...1 will add a bit of a bite, and 2 will add quite a bite. I add 1...then my husband adds more to his own bowl because he likes it spicier.)
3 cloves garlic
1 box or 2+ cans of chicken broth (about 32oz)
3 TBS flour or 1-1/2 TBS cornstarch
2 cups frozen corn kernels (more or less according to your taste)
2 large chicken breasts; COOKED and SHREDDED
1/2 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper
1-1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup milk
4oz cream cheese; SOFTENED
**if desired:
1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese

On medium, in a large pan, saute the celery, red pepper, onion and jalepeno until tender...about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and stir to combine. Cook for another minute or so. In that time, mix the chicken broth with the flour or cornstarch (depending on your personal choice) and then add to the veggies. Bring to a low boil...

At that time add the corn and the chicken. Bring to a low boil.

Turn down the heat to low, add salt, pepper and paprika, and let simmer.

Stir together the milk and the softened cream cheese. (These two don't like to meld, and there are cream cheese lumps in the milk...but not to worry as the cream cheese WILL melt in the soup anyway. You can heat the milk and cheese in micro to help if you want...but it isn't necessary.)
Stir the cream cheese/milk mixture into the soup.

Let simmer on low until read to eat.

At this point you can either add the shredded cheese OR in our family, we put a little handful at the bottom of the bowl and put soup on top.

It may sound intimidating...but it really isn't. I don't even look at the recipe anymore.
TRUST is sooooooo worth it.

The chopping of the veggies is the hardest, or most time consuming part.

Eat it with breadsticks, or french bread and a nice fresh salad.
No, seriously,

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Sew Much Ado
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Just a Girl