Monday, March 31, 2008

Miss you "Gramma"

This is a picture of my gramma and me when I was a little squirt. She's been gone three years today. I miss her terribly, her laugh, her beautiful smile, her encouragement, her feistiness and her strong will. My heart aches that she will never hold my babies this side of heaven. She would have loved them so very much. I never realized just how much I loved her until she was gone. I loved my grandma, not for what she had because she didn't have much but for her love and unselfishness. She gave me a lot more than material things, she gave me her undying love. I will be forever grateful and thankful that she was my “gramma”. My grandma probably didn't think she was worth much but she was my world. She really did give me roots so I could find my wings...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Friend Sooze

My friend Susie and I have a whole lot in common. First of all we both have Obsessive Scrapbook Disorder. It’s really a great disorder to have but the only cure is A LOT of therapy. Therapy works best when done with others who also have OSD. Susie has taught me so much, inspired my creativity, and caused more than enough "Susie Envy". :)
We also share the gift of adoption; she was adopted as a child and she and her husband Clint adopted a little boy six months before we adopted our twins. She, along with so many other friends, helped us get through the heartbreaking infertility phase, then the oh so long waiting phase, and the roller coaster adoption phase. God placed her in my life for this special reason I know.
But the yummiest commonality is we both LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, dump cake. So it's no surprise that she made me my very own dump cake for my birthday with my favorite fruit, peaches. Yummy! Thanks so much Sooze.
Now, I think I’ll go dish up a plate of Peach Dump Cake and get some scrapbook therapy. Have a blessed week everyone!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Baked French Toast Casserole

I made this recipe for a MOPS(Mothers Of Preschoolers)meeting this morning. The only thing is make sure to give yourself extra time for baking. I think there must be a typo in the cooking time. Oh well, who can blame Paula Deen, God bless her pea pickin' heart...

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Maple syrup

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.
Praline Topping: 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Photos


We hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. It was a whirlwind weekend as usual but we still had a great time. Our girls bring so much joy to our lives and we continue to praise God for our blessings. I must say that I am truly enjoying living a second childhood through my little kiddos. I love seeing the delight in their eyes with every new day.
Here are a few pictures taken over the Easter weekend. I hope to get more from other family members but this will have to do for now. Remember to click on the picture above to view entire album.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A bit of twin competition???

Here it is 8:00 PM on the same day that Abby made her potty debut. Daddy just got home, and we were talking about her big accomplishment. Abby and Bree went running to the bathroom to show daddy the potty. Of course all clothes come off and the girls are taking turns "peeing" on the potty. Well, not to be shown up by her sister, Bree proudly piddles on the potty too! Oh my goodness! She was so excited about her accomplishment and she loved getting all the praise. I think the girls like to see mommy and daddy do the happy pee-pee dance.

Abby is a big girl now!

Abby went pee-pee on the potty today! We bought the twins a potty seat a few months ago in hopes the day would come that we wouldn't be doing diaper duty anymore. Neither one of us have made a big deal about the potty seat knowing full well that we were being a bit ancy about this new frontier of toddlerhood. But the girls have been thoroughly entertained by it ever since it came into the house. Several times a day the girls will go sit on the potty (Matt even taught them to grunt) :l They love to be like a big girl and pull thier pants down to sit on the potty. We even do a little song to make it that much more fun.
My mom was visiting and we were getting the girls ready for a nap when Abby ran to the bathroom. I was in no mood to let her "play" on the potty but she insisted. So I pulled her pants down and impatiently waited for her to finish "playing" when I heard her tinkling. She got the biggest smile on her face as I stood there in shock. My little girl just went pee-pee on the potty! Of course we made a big deal about it and Aubrey even cheered for her. What a milestone!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patricks Day everybody! I am posting a recipe for Irish Soda Bread that my friend Marianne Brooks shared with me a few years ago. Marianne's mother was Irish and her father was Italian (what a quinky~dink...I'm part Irish and Matt is part Italian).

According to Wikipedia, "soda bread dates back to approximately 1840, when baking soda was introduced to Ireland. Because the climate of Ireland hinders the growth of hard wheat (which creates a flour that rises easily with the assistance of yeast), bicarbonate of soda replaced yeast as the leavening agent.
There are several theories as to the significance of the cross in soda bread. Some believe that the cross was placed in the bread to ward off evil. It is more likely that the cross is used to help with the cooking of the bread or to serve as a guideline for even slices.
Soda bread eventually became a staple of the Irish diet. It was, and still is, used as an accompaniment to a meal."

Mom Moran's Irish Soda Bread

4 c. flour for bread

3 Tbs sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

6 Tbs butter

1 c. currants or raisins

1 Tbs caraway seeds

2 c. buttermilk

Stir baking soda into buttermilk, let rise. Sift dry ingredients together. Add caraway seeds, raisins. Cut in butter. Add buttermilk mixture, combine. Place on floured board and knead 5 minutes. Shape into 2 balls, place in greased cast iron frying pans. Using a floured knife, cut a cross in top 1/4" deep. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

It is best served warm with a pat of butter.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring has Sprung!

Yes, it must be spring. The girls have been patiently waiting all morning for daddy to finish mowing the lawn, cleaning the fish pond and raking the yard. The wind is terrible today so mommy won't let them play outside (mean mommy). And the shoes, oh so cute! Happy Spring everyone!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Easter Traditions

WOW! Easter is in a few weeks. Since it is the most important holiday of our faith I want to create Easter traditions that would emphasize Jesus as the real reason for the celebration.
Of course we will attend church, spend the day with family, participate in the family egg hunt (if the day is spent with Matt’s side of the family) but I want to create traditions that are unique and special to our family too. I want our girls to have fond memories of Easter that will reinforce God's great love and sacrifice for them.
As a child my family often did not attend church so the Easter Bunny was a big deal for us. I have fond memories of the Easter Bunny delivering our Easter baskets. He would use our dining table to display our beautiful and bountiful baskets. There was always a special gift from him too. The Easter Bunny would also hide the eggs we colored for him outside in the yard. My dilemma is incorporating this fond memory/tradition into our routine without it becoming the main attraction.
Here are some ideas I would also like to try:

* Read the Easter story to the kids, using a Resurrection figurine set or Resurrection eggs to recreate Jesus' resurrection (similar to how we use the nativity at Christmas to teach the kids about Jesus’ birth).
* Make Resurrection cookies. All the ingredients have a meaning and a scripture verse that you read as you go along. You turn the oven on ahead of time, and then when you put the cookies in the oven, you turn the oven off, and put a piece of tape on it to signify that Christ was sealed in the tomb. Then you go to bed and wait to see what you have in the morning! Here are some websites to guide you through the process.;
* Spend and evening coloring eggs with the kids.

Do you and your family have any Easter traditions or suggestions you would like to share? Please feel free to post your comments here on the blog so we can all benefit from your family traditions or suggestions.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

February in review

February 2008_JPEG

Hey everyone. I just finished our February album. I hope you enjoy!

Just click on the photo to see the entire album.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ashlynn Young

The Good Lord blessed the family with another great-niece. Matt’s niece, Sue, gave birth to Ashlynn Young Shaw on Monday, March 03, 2008. Ashlynn entered the world a month early weighing in at 5 pounds 8 ounces and a mere 17 ¾” long. I was told that Sue showed elevated levels of protein in her urine (toxemia) so she needed to deliver the baby early. Ashlynn remains in the hospital where she is being monitored closely. I’ve not been able to talk to Sue yet so I don’t have a lot of details on the baby’s condition but they are hopeful she will be able to go home soon. Sue and her family live in Colorado near Ryan's family. Please keep them in your prayers.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Warm Oatmeal Cake

Warm Oatmeal Cake

The girls LOVE to help me in the kitchen. I have to admit, I like it too. Abby woke up from a nap a bit early so she got to help me make cake for our church group last Thursday! YUMMY!

(Click the photo to see the whole album as a slide show.)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Meeting Sofia

We were finally able to meet our newest niece today. Little Sofia is now 5 weeks old so that tells you how far behind we are! Sofia is just as pretty as her big sister Emma. Dwane and Mona are awful proud of her even though they say she keeps them up at night. We didn't get to hold her because the little squirt slept through our entire visit but I did get to snap a few pictures to share with you all. I hope to get better ones the next time (when she is awake) we see her and I have more time.