Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

Fruit-Filled Coffee Cake

1 pkg (2-layer) white cake mix

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1/4 cup water

1 can cherry pie filling

1/2 cup almonds, toasted

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 tbsp milk

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat first 5 ingredients with mixer until well blended. Pour into greased and floured 13x9 inch pan. Top with spoonfuls of pie filling.

2) Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with almonds. Cool 10 minutes.

3) Mix powdered sugar and milk and drizzle over cake. Cool completely.

This was taken from the Kraft Food & Family magazine - spring edition. I put the leftovers in the refrigerator and had this for breakfast. I actually prefer it cold instead of warm. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Frank ringing the bell after completing treatment at IU.

This is my baby brother Frank, or as we fondly call him Fifi. Just a little over two years ago he was diagnosed with cancer. What a shock for our family, but especially Frank. How could someone so young, full of life have cancer? I am sure that is a question Frank asked himself over and over. He was so brave, more brave than I think I could ever be in a situation like that. He fought with all his might and beat the ugly beast that tortured him for months. The picture above was taken two years ago today just as he completed his final treatment for cancer. I am proud to say he is healthy, happy and cancer free. You are a survivor Frank, I am proud to be your big sister. You are not only my baby brother, but one of my best friends and I love you.


Wordless Wednesday

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

Chicken and Rice Bake

1 cup Uncle Bens Converted Rice – only use converted rice
2 cans of cream soup – whatever you prefer – celery, mushroom, chicken
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. butter
1 package dry onion soup mix
Cut up chicken or 4 chicken breasts

Mix everything together in a saucepan except the dry onion soup mix and chicken. Stir mixture and heat on medium until it starts to barely boil. Remove from heat. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Put the rice mixture in the pan and then lay the chicken on top of rice mixture. Sprinkle with the dry onion soup mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for two hours, covering with foil the last 20 minutes.

Big Wheels

Caroline loves her new tricycle. This little tricycle is awesome. It is so sturdy that I can even ride it. (trust me, it's a sight to see) This is a special gift from Grandmother Jeanie. I believe when she was little she had a tricycle just like this one. Both of the girls are enjoying it very much. Makenzie tries to ride it, but she is just a little too short right now. We tried to stand her up on the back, but she didn't like that. Happy riding Caroline.
Big Girl Caroline!

Look at me!!

One more thing mommy...

In an earlier post, I listed all the things Caroline wishes to do or not do when she turns four. She brought it to my attention this weekend that I forgot something really important. I thought I better share it with you all so the list is complete.

She says to me....

"Mommy, you forgot something I want to do when I turn four".

"I did, I am so sorry. What did I forget"?

"That I get to crack the egg in the bowl when I turn four".

"Oops, I guess I did forget that one. That's a pretty big responsibility for a four year old".

"Yep, I know".

Okay, so there you have it. Cracking an egg into the bowl is a pretty big priority for my almost four year old. We aim high around here. Actually, this excites me a lot. Hopefully she will enjoy baking just like I do.

Happy Monday everyone!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Signs of Spring

Kenzie - exploring the front yard.
Caroline writing her name with chalk on our driveway.

Having a tea party with mommy and little sis.

Just being cute!

My girls - Caroline and Kenzie.

It is spring break here in Columbus and we have been fortunate enough to have pretty nice weather. We have enjoyed being outdoors playing, taking walks and swinging in the backyard. Roy and I are anxious for spring to arrive and stick around. We have plans to get the yard in order and to start a garden. The two of us have been talking about planting a garden for years and just haven't had the time to do it. Hopefully we can get it done. I'll keep you updated on it's progress.
Happy Spring Everyone!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

When I turn four...

Caroline will be turning four on April 22nd and she can't wait. This is all she talks about lately, understandably. When you are young, birthdays are a big deal. Not such a big deal when you turn 36 like I did last week, but I digress. Caroline has been telling me all the things she wishes to do when she turns four.
1) Ride without a booster seat. I told her this was not an option and she said yes it was, she was going to be four. I guess she doesn't care about her safety and/or mommy getting arrested.
2) Ride in the front seat of the van. Again, not an option.
3) Go in the street without mommy or daddy. Don't think so.
4) Pick out her own clothes. I can handle that.
5) Not take a bath with her sister.
6) Not go to the dentist. She said maybe when she turns five she would go.
7) She has decided to try an assortment of food when she turns four. I can't wait for that.
8) She wants to have a friend party for her 4th birthday party. That sounds like fun.
9) She will start listening when she turns four. I am counting down the days.
10) She will be big and grow to be 100 ft tall. Wow!!
I wish I could be four and have such happy and fun dreams. Oh to be young again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

Spring is in the air and there is nothing better than a tall glass of sweet tea to enjoy the day.

Stove Top Iced Tea

7 regular tea bags or 4 large
4 cups water
1 – 1 ½ cups sugar or more to taste

Place water in pan and add tea bags. Heat until almost boiling. Let stand off of direct heat until cooled. Remove tea bags & pour concentrate into gallon container. Add sugar, water to fill and stir.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tasty Tuesday (on a Wednesday)

Hello - I haven't been able to blog in awhile. I was struck with the FLU!!!! Not fun at all. But if you can believe this... the whole time I was feeling horrible all I could think about was having a brownie. Probably not the best thing to eat after having the flu. It sure sounded good though. Here is one of my favorite brownie recipes. Enjoy!!

Surprise Brownies

20 oz package fudge brownie mix
12 Vanilla Wafer cookies
12 caramels
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownies according to package instructions. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray and place one wafer cookie each in bottom of tin.
Spoon 3 tablespoons of brownie batter over each wafer cookie. Unwrap caramels and place one in the center of each brownie, top with small spoonful of batter.
Bake brownies 22 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from tin and serve warm.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

89 Years Young

Happy 89th Birthday Granny Nell

Today is my grandmothers 89th birthday. 89 years - wow!! I can't even fathom the things that she has seen in her lifetime. How the times have changed? Such as technology, politics, the economy, cars, the fashions over the years, and the growth of her family. Granny Nell is a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. And a great one at that. She has been the pillar of our family. Last August, she moved into an assisted living facility in Muncie. Her health has been declining for sometime now and it is a relief to know that she is somewhere safe and is given the care she needs to stay strong and healthy. Even though her health has declined, let me tell you, she is as fiesty as ever. Granny has always been a jokester, very sassy and very opinionated. And she has been known to say and do some of the craziest things. Here are a few examples:
She told us once she went to fill a prescription and they wouldn't give it to her. We asked what it was for and she said cocaine. What!!! She meant to ask for Codeine.
After 9/11 she and my step grandfather thought they had anthrax on their toilet paper and they called the police. The police showed up in their yellow suits and everything. Come to find out, it was just the white dust that sometimes forms on your toilet paper. I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.
During my senior year of high school, granny and my mom took two of my friends to Washington DC for spring break. We ate at a Hard Rock Cafe and our waiter had dreadlocks - she wasn't quite sure what to think about that. I think she may have asked where she could get her hair done like that. The same trip we got to see her (many, many times) sleeping straight up in a chair, snoring and sawing the biggest logs you have ever seen. That women could snore and wake the dead.
Here are some of my greatest memories of my granny Nell -
She made the best Swiss cheese and mayo sandwiches.
She always, always had Pringles and Club crackers in the house.
She drove everywhere we went.
She loved Oldsmobile cars. She had a pack of squirrels living under the hood once.
She had the best garden and the prettiest flowers. When my grandfather was alive, he would stop by our home with a bag of fresh veggies, lay it by the door and yell "Produce" and then leave w/o even saying hello or goodbye.
She did laundry at the laundry mat and I loved the way her clothes always smelled.
She used Dove soap and Sea Breeze.
She loves sweets even though she shouldn't really have them. It is always fun to catch her sneaking an extra piece of cake or pie at special family events.
She always would say to me - "Don't be in a hurry to get old"
When I lived in Muncie, we would have lunch together every Wednesday. We did this for almost 11 years.
When I was young, she would always sing " You are my Sunshine" and "Neath the Crust of the Old Apple Pie" and now I sing those songs to my girls every night.
I am very fortunate to have my grandmother still here with me and more than that, that my girls get to know their great-grandmother too. She loves her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren so much. They all bring such joy to her life. Even more than that, she brings great joy to our lives. I love you Granny Nell. You are my Sunshine. Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to a Friend

Happy 5th Birthday to Emily!!
This is Caroline's friend Emily and today is her 5th birthday. This picture is from a trip we took to the zoo last summer. Don't they look adorable? Turning 5 is a big deal for children, it's like their first bit of independence. Going off to kindergarten soon and just being able to say that they are 5. Now that is a big deal. Caroline is already telling me she is 5. I keep telling her she still has 14 months left for that. Don't rush it baby girl.
We just wanted to give a shout out to a sweet girl, Emily on her birthday today. Happy 5th Birthday Emily. We hope it is your best one yet.
Caroline, Makenize and Aubrey

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Few Random Crazy Things About Me

Everyone has quirks right? According to my husband, I have many, so I thought I would share a few with you and get your opinion.

1. I can't stand hunks of meat. This means I won't eat meatloaf, meatballs, any kind of meat concoction that is formed into a ball or loaf. This also means I won't touch any raw meat to be formed into a ball either. I actually can't stand the word loaf - it's kinda gross.

2. Up until the last 10 years or so, I didn't eat tomatoes. Couldn't stand them. I actually really like them now, but not hot or mixed up in any kind of stew, chili, etc...

3. I can't cook bacon. Yes, probably the most basic food you could fix and I usually burn it. And... I always hate how when you peel the bacon off to cook it, it always stretches into about a foot long piece. Does this happen to anyone but me?

4. I always flush the toilet with my foot (except at home of course).

5. I clean my ears everyday.

6. I don't like being late. I actually leave to take Caroline to preschool a 1/2 hr early, just to get a parking space. (that place is a mad house)

7. I love my house to be clean and tidy, but don't really care what the inside of my van looks like.

8. I call my husband "Boy" and he calls me "Girl".

9. I can remember faces, and almost every one's children's names but not the name of their mother. This isn't so good since I am the coordinator of a local Mops group.

10. I am turning 36 in a week, and still feel like I am in my twenties. (I hope I don't act like it - heaven help me)

11. My two closest and oldest friends I met working at McDonald's 19 years ago. We are still as close as we were back then. McDonalds was one of the best jobs I have ever had. Although, you couldn't pay me enough to work there now. What happened to customer service?

12. I love hanging out with my mom. I have always loved that my mom is every one's mom. All of my friends from high school and work loved her. I think some of the guys actually had a crush on her.

13. I don't like for people to touch my neck. It freaks me out.

14. I like to be called Aub.

15. The girls and I love dancing in the living room to Taylor Swift and Brad Paisley. It's the only exercise I get these days.

There you have it. Just some crazy things about me.

Tasty Tuesday

Granny Nell's Mac N' Cheese
1 8 oz elbow macaroni
1 16 oz container cottage cheese
1 8 oz container sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt & pepper
Cook macaroni as directed on package. Combine all other ingredients in large bowl and set aside. Once macaroni is done, rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly. Combine macaroni and wet ingredients together. Pour ingredients into a 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Forest Gump

I know that you have all seen the movie Forest Gump right? Do you remember the scene in the movie when Forest first learns that he is a daddy and he asks Jenny if he can watch cartoons with little Forest? This picture reminds me of that. How Forest and little Forest both lean their heads to the same side at the same time, just like father and son? I have my own big Forest and little Forest living right here with me.

Come on....