Thursday, August 27, 2009

Anna's Pretzel M&M Button Cookies

Pretzel M&M Button Cookies
Anna made these "cookies" all summer while we were up at camp. She even made some money on them when she had a lemonade stand up and running. (BTW she has more money than anyone else in our house!)
They are so easy, it is a great recipe to do with kids.
Take square pretzels and lay them out on a cookie sheet.
Place a Hershey Kiss on each pretzel (the most challenging part of this recipe is taking the wrappers off the Kisses).
(Donna Graham says that Rolos work too....doesn't that sound yummy?)
Put in a 200 degree oven for 3 minutes ( our oven at home took 4 minutes). You know they are ready when you try to smoosh the kiss and it smooshes!
Take cookie sheet out of the oven and place an M&M on top of each melty kiss.
Let them cool and enjoy!
{wouldn't they be sooo cute done with the pink and red M&Ms and wrapped in a cellophane bag for Valentine's Day...oh the possibilities!}
I have a very talented friend. She happens to be the mother of Shae's BFF, Maeghan.
Stacy is not afraid to try any project. She is unbelievably talented. She does tile work, paints rooms, makes the cutest things to sell on Etsy, and recently finds cheap, junky furniture on Craig's List and makes it beautiful!

Here is a dresser she found and painted this gorgeous green. It is her craft storage! How cute is that!? I have my eye on a 3 piece bedroom set that she has done in pink...Gor-ge-ous! I can hear it calling my name when I am at her house!

I am going to try to talk her into doing a few projects "with " me!!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Gone are the days of sleeping in (for me and the two little sisters), hitting the beach and waiting for the dinner bell to ring. We are back in full swing with the school routine of homework, volleyball practice, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning a whole house instead of just 2 rooms! But...this handsome guy asked me if I wanted to go out on the patio boat for the day last Thursday. ( Uh, let me think about that for a second...yes!) We raced out to Shasta Lake after the girls had all gone to school.
The gentle breeze on my face and the sound of the boat put me right to sleep on the ride! There were TONS of people out, even on houseboats, doesn't anyone have a JOB? (oh, wait, we were some of those people!)
It was such a relaxing day. We both floated on rafts and even fell asleep! We got home just in time for Lindsay's arrival on the school bus.
We're thinking we might try to make it a regular weekly date!

I told you it was relaxing! Scott was "done" for the rest of the day, but Lindsay was sleepy after school too, so she loved that he was on the couch. (VERY unusual for Scott to slow down and rest during the day!)

On Friday Scott had to go to camp for the weekend and Shae came home and announced that she and Maeghan were going to cook dinner and have a movie night.
They made Taco Soup, cornbread and cupcakes. Impressive!

Here are the silly seniors. They never even watched a movie...they talked to 2 friends who are at college on Skype and looked at pictures on the computer and laughed...a lot.

On Saturday, Anna and I had planned on going to a craft show up near camp. We dropped Lindsay off with Scott and headed to the show. It was kinda cute, but we didn't find anything that we couldn't live without....
except for this little cutie!
It is a gourd!! (my parents used to do lots of cute things with gourds when I was little). He will be so happy on our porch in October!
{we were NOT in the market for any toilet seats with horses painted on them!}

Anna got to ride a mechanical bull, we had a yummy lunch and saw some cute donkeys and miniature horses before heading back to camp.

What a wonderful surprise to see Gavin and Austin having lunch under the dining tent! Grandma and Papa had them for a week while their parents were on a little vacation and decided to bring them up to camp!
It was fun to hang out with them for the day.

Sweet Boys
Oh Gavin, how I LOVE it when you have that thumb securely in your sweet little mouth! Look at that darling profile!

And this picture is proof that Austin was born with a sin nature! (I was starting to wonder...he is 3 1/2 and is just now hitting a little bit of the "terrible twos") He would not stop pushing Gavin down!! Dottie and I could NOT believe it! He is such a sweet boy, but Gavin was easy prey I guess. Scott said he'll be sorry about a year from now when Gavin can push back!

On Sunday afternoon the varsity girls volleyball team came over to paint their t-shirts.
LOTS of talking and giggling...

We fed them a yummy taco meal complete with Mrs. Bartow's unbelievable salsa!

We dried the shirts on the trampoline. Here are all but 3 of the girls. We have a BIG team this year, which is wonderful...last year, we had 7!
We truly are back to being very busy, but we love it all!! I am so blessed to be able to be at home during these years when my girls are busy and involved in activities. What an added blessing to have the chance to get to know all their friends, and what a treat that they (Shae) actually wants her friends to come over to our house! {You bet I say yes when they want to hang out over here!}

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I tried this recipe last year on "New Recipe Monday" and it was a hit, so last night I made it again. My family raved over it again! It doesn't look pretty in the picture but it was De-lish!!

4 chicken breasts (I used 6) flattened to 1/8" thickness
1 block of cream cheese
2T freshly chopped chives
bacon strips (uncooked)
4T butter, cut into small cubes

Mix the cream cheese together with the chives.
Spread cream cheese mixture over each flattened breast and dot with a few small cubes of the butter.
Roll chicken with cream cheese in the middle. Wrap each breast with bacon and use toothpicks to secure.
Place all the rolled chicken in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 until juices run clear.(about 45 minutes or so...check chicken to be sure it is cooked.) Broil for a few minutes to crisp the bacon.

Cream Sauce

In a saucepan, bring to a boil:
1/2 c water
3T butter
1 chicken bouillon cube (or some chicken stock would work, but don't use the water)
1 c heavy cream
1 clove of garlic, minced and sauteed
1T cornstarch
*after the ingredients are well mixed and thickened, add 1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I had to stir constantly to get this incorporated and smooth.)
Pour sauce over chicken and serve. Yummy!
I serve this with pasta and Zucchini (last night we only had "Mickey Mouse" pasta, but it still tasted good!)

I thought I would share a deep, dark secret about myself.

might be a hoarder (like, I could probably be on the Oprah Show)!!
Yesterday I hit the jackpot at my fav-o-rite store, TJMaxx. Candles were marked down to a measly $3.oo!!! We're talking Yankee, Colonial and even Woodwick! (My MIL loves the Yankee Roses and Ivy....that one was $2.00, for the BIG one, so I bought the 3 they had left! ) In all I bought 10 candles to add to my collection!! I tried to explain to Scott how smart I am, but he wasn't dishing out any accolades for some reason...(BTW, I also have a stash of stationary, especially the ones with initials on them...helloooooo.....teacher gifts!)
And one last thing, just 'cause she's so cute!

Here is Lindsay this morning . My friend Jennifer made her these cute headbands!! (You can check out Jennifer's Etsy store by going to my sidebar and click on her blog, Jennifer Beaver).
How DO you girls do those link things anyway?

*it's a good thing this girl is so cute because the 4 other people in this house are exhausted by the time she leaves for school after all the talking!
"Can I help you make the lunches, Daddy?"
"I can do it all by myself"
"Is my Grandma picking me up today?"
"Anna, put your shoes on!"
I could give a thousand other examples, but you get the point...and YES, we ARE thankful she can talk! (Scott's Dad thinks it is
wonderful when she throws a fit too, because he says that is a part of her that is "normal"!!) Guess it is all how you look at it!!

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to School

She wanted me to take a picture of Daddy "with all his daughters"! (she is so funny, she said "Mom, your husband is home!")
Today was Shae's last "first day of school"!! (sniff..sniff...) I cannot believe she is beginning her last year of high school. What a wonderful young woman she is becoming. I pray that we can instill in her everything she will need before she leaves our home next year!! I know these next months will fly by so I am determined to savor each moment with her (and go to every volleyball game!).
Lindsay had to give one last kiss and hug to everyone before we all headed in different directions.
Shae and Anna heading to their new campus! (and don't let the fake smiles fool you, they were totally annoyed that I wanted one.more.picture.) They have a 16 minute drive this year instead of a 5 minute drive, but the new Redding Christian campus is so beautiful that they don't seem to mind getting up a smidge earlier.
Scott and I took Lindsay to her new school. She is in 6th grade this year at a new school with a new teacher! Lots of changes for a little girl with special needs! (and, there was NO aide there this morning for Lindsay! Ahhhhh! Scott told me "they'll figure it out" when I told him that I forgot to tell the teacher about Lindsay needing help unbuttoning her pants to go potty!) It is weird having to let her grow up but, at the same time trying to "protect" her!
Leslie came in and Lindsay squealed! The 3 L's are back together again! Hope the teacher knows what she is in for!!
Look at Lindsay's new teacher, she is adorable! Lindsay was thrilled to bring her a "first day of school" gift! (Shae and Anna brought gifts too...but, they kinda roll their eyes while I am explaining which teacher gets which gift and the fact that they need to carry an extra {shopping bag} to carry them doesn't help.

My opinion is, and always will be, that we should appreciate our teachers on every occasion possible....and I am a big believer in tokens of appreciation!

Happy New School Year!!
* Edited to add: I just put Lindsay to bed and after we read 2 books, talked about school and prayed, she said, "Mom, I can't wait to go back tomorrow!" {Happy Special Ed. Girl's Mommy right here!}

**and since some of you asked, the first day gifts were metal buckets filled with B&B anti-bacterial soap and lotion, notecards with their last initial on them, candles and a couple full size Hershey Bars (a girl must have her chocolate!) The male teachers got banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. I wrapped all the buckets and the goodies in the most awesome cellophane from the Dollar Store!
***I will show all the summer projects a little later (I am bringing some things to my blog buddies in Lynchburg, so I don't want them to see...)
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Time Flies

It is hard to imagine that this time next year we will be packing Shae up and sending her off to college. I am so excited for her yet my heart aches at the thought of her being out of our house! Lindsay will have a really hard time with such a change, and that will make it even harder on all of us because when she is sad...there is NOTHING more heart breaking!

Shae, I am so excited for this year! Your SENIOR year!! Enjoy every minute, make the most of everything and STUDY HARD!! Let the Lord use you this year, be a blessing to those around you. You are a joy!!

Lindsay, this year you are in middle school, a 6th grader at a new school. I know everyone there will fall in love with you just as they have at every other school you have attended. Stay kind and loving, and be sure to push Lucio to lunch in his wheelchair without bumping him into any poles!!

Anna, my tender-hearted angel, you are a 5th grader!! Wow! I know you will obey, as always, but I am sure THIS is the year your teacher will recognize you as "Student of the Week", you have been deserving since the first day you started school, but, when you are always good, you are often overlooked. Just remember, God sees you and He keeps excellent records. You make us so proud every day.

What a pleasure to be the Mom of 3 such precious girls. I am praying for each of you as you begin another year at school. How blessed I am that you 3 are in my life! I love you!
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Camp Wrap Up

This summer was our 20th at camp. We had a hard working, wonderful staff.

Each week they had Bible Study taught by my FIL, Gordon Luff.
We had lots of games on activity nights...some involving Go-Kart races...
The Texas cousins came for 3 weeks!!
Friends came to visit, and work for the day.
Lindsay made her favorite dessert {brownies} with the help of Judy and Shannon.
and had late night snack meetings in the dining room too!
Grandma Welms and Miss Judy were faithful fans during the games (and they made lots of yummy desserts for us to enjoy too!)
and lots of things to paint! The staff served hundreds of kids over the 9 weeks by cooking, cleaning, lifeguarding, doing dishes, taking out trash and many, many other tasks all making a difference for eternity! As Gordon and Scott like to tell them, " each kid that comes here and has a nice clean cabin, a delicious meal, or good time at the beach, means that they will go to the meetings in a positive frame of mind and their hearts will be open to hear what God wants to tell them". How very true! Hundreds of decisions were made this summer that have impacted eternity! (we even had 2 of our staff girls get baptized in the lake this summer!)
I hope that this precious boy will make one of those decisions in a few years!
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

I am having sooo much trouble uploading pictures today! Argh!

We have had a wonderful summer. Our staff worked hard and played hard. Here they are after an intense game of water kickball ( I am still trying to load the pictures of the game itself). As soon as I figure out the problem with Blogger I will add more pictures...Susie, I went ahead and posted this and the previous post to get you by until I can do a big one!!! Haha! xxoo
Steve-o and workers unite!
Last week we had 2 little boys for a few days while their Mommy and Daddy were gone...Austin went right to work with Uncle Scott (and didn't take the tool belt off for the rest of the day!) It was fun for Scott to have a little BOY to work with and use hammers with, 'cause none of his girls seem too interested in building things...