Monday, November 28, 2011

Just Like the Big Boys

Baby #3's birthday is coming up soon (which I cannot believe, by the way!), and he has decided that he will no longer be a baby, but a big kid.  I guess that's what happens when you turn three years old!

He got his birthday gift from Grandma and Papa while they were here visiting, even though it was a few weeks early.  The child is now obsessed with being "just like the big boys."  

I guess they all have to grow up at some point, huh?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend in the desert

I'd say we're adjusting to the no snow quite well.  What do you think?  Pictures courtesy of the Tonto National Forest.  ;-)

(remember:  click on the pictures to see them in a larger size)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Creating Memories

Every so often, I get the distinct sense that now, from this very year on, I don't get as much room for error with the kids.   You see, both Mike and I have memories that really stretch back only as far as age 6 or 7.   The memories from that young age are spotty....but they are there.  Now that two of our boys have approached that same age, I'm beginning to realize that someday, the experiences we have now will be their spotty memories.  I have a little bit less wiggle room - now, what I say or do might just become their treasured (or hated!) memory twenty or thirty years down the road.

Sometimes I look around at what we're doing, or what is happening, and think, "I hope today becomes one of those memories."  Yesterday was one of those days:  The weather was perfect, the company was fantastic, and the events were perfectly enjoyable.  We had Mike's uncle and some of his cousins over (they live about an hour and a half away), and spent the day catching up, relaxing, and just enjoying each other's company.  My boys fell in love with their second cousins, and already are asking when they get to see them again.

As we sat around the living room last night, digging through old slides that belonged to my husband's grandparents, I tried to capture the moment into my own memory.  The boys were laying on the living room floor, making shadow puppets (for I think the first time), just like I used to when I was younger.  The laughter and giggles echoed on the tile floor.  The darkened room was lit up, not only by the slide projector, but by hundreds of bright smiles.

It was a beautiful day, and one that I am very thankful for.  Fingers are crossed for this becoming a memory my boys will treasure for many years to come!

First stop of the day was lunch at a local olive grove/mill.  My gosh, did it remind me of Fatima.  So beautiful.

Trying to figure out how to work the slide projector did take a bit of time.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Guess Who?

We made these as place settings for Thanksgiving dinner, with our guests.  Each guest made their own pilgrim or Native American.  Great fun!  (And cheap, even better!  Toilet paper rolls, construction paper, glue - that's it!)

Giving Thanks

I'm going to do a cheesy, cliche post.  It's Thanksgiving.....what are you thankful for?

I'm thankful for:

a great family (both near and far)

healthy children

a perfect house of  my heads

a pantry full of food

a great Catholic family (both near and far)

a husband with a job that allows him to be the best doctor he can be

the ability to pay the bills

two reliable cars

park days

the ability to homeschool

uncontrollable giggles around the dining table

clothes that fit

fabulous friends (both near and far)

toddler hugs

knock-knock jokes

family movie nights

chocolate chip cookies

zoo memberships

hot coffee 

a programmable coffee maker

warm socks

cool mornings

blue skies

cranberry sauce

a full night of sleep!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jump for Joy!

Okay, I may have lied a little in my last post....apparently I'm posting twice in one day, even though we have company.  These pictures from today's park experience with Grandma and Papa.  I just thought they were hilarious and had to share them....

First, a cute one, just because he's adorable.  Baby #3:

Now, taking a cue from all of our YM teens - action shots! 
Jumping for joy - Yay, park time!!

Thanksgiving Update

It's going to be a bit sparse around Where's My List? this week - we have company in town, and it's making it a bit difficult to get to the computer for an extended period of time.  Things are going well - we're just very, very busy.

We're also taking this week off of school in order to enjoy our time with our visiting family.  The boys are quite happy about a week "vacation," and I'm enjoying the chance to deep clean our school supplies and desks.   It's amazing how much can accumulate in one little boy's desk drawer!

For now, here is a quick picture update (Don't forget - you can click on the picture to see in in a larger size):

 Waiting for Grandma and Papa at the airport

Enjoying the Christmas lights (which were timed to Christmas music) at the nearby shopping mall.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A few more pictures from the festivities around here:


Waiting for the parade to begin


I have to admit, I really like the Arizona state flag. It's just pretty and makes me smile.



Some of the boys' favourite entries


An awesome fly-over of older planes

We had a great time - definitely will go back next year!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Picture update!

We're heading out here shortly to go enjoy a local parade and then do some veggie picking, but I thought I'd share some pictures of the last couple of days. Enjoy!

Creating his own music:


Goofing off in the backyard:



I think it might be time to check out some of the Native American cliff dwellings around here. What do you think? Joseph created this one on his own:


And Joseph's book report project - a diorama:


It reads:

"My book is called a place to sleep by Holly Meade. In my book, animals and people are trying to find a place to sleep. In my diorama, a person is getting ready for bed."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Good morning, sunshine!

I've been trying to get up earlier the past two days (since the parent meeting I spoke about in my last blog post), and it seems to be really working for changing my day around. Father wasn't kidding when he said that if I started my day with prayer, God would take over and lead me through the rest of the day!

Even yesterday, when the kids were beyond cranky and grumpy (we'd had the chaotic day on Wednesday, and then they went to bed late and got up early - thanks to our wonderful neighbour who decides to start running - and revving - his sports car at 6:40 every morning, right next to the boys' bedroom windows), I managed to keep it together and keep my mood positive. There was only one instance of snapping at the kids (which for me is good on days of grumpies, like yesterday), and I do think it was slightly justified, as there was major whining, yelling and fighting....all during Phoenix rush hour traffic.

Today has started the same way - it's just barely 9 am, and the day is already going smoothly. The house is cleaned up, breakfast is done, laundry is running, and the kids are happily playing outside (with a real, grass yard - thank God!). We're about to head into school for our last day of work before Thanksgiving break, but I thought I'd share a few pictures from the morning. Enjoy!

Working hard on his sticker collection in the sunshine

Gotta love the creativity of children!

Goofballs, playing with their new "playhouse"

Morning prayer

Through baptism, Father, I have become your child and your heir. Help me always to remember my dignity and, through your Holy Spirit dwelling within me, fill me with the zeal to invest your gifts and expand your kingdom

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My 2 x 4

There's a running "joke" amongst Catholics that sometimes when God gets tired of you not paying attention to His will for you....he knocks you upside the head with a 2x4. It's kind of silly to think that way, but there's also some truth to it. He wants us to listen to Him, obviously....and sometimes it takes more than just being tapped on a shoulder. I'm reminded of the classroom that won't quiet down, and a teacher who turns off to the lights. Or the group of people who won't stop chatting....and their leader who produces an ear-splitting whistle to get everyone to quiet down. As humans, we're easily distracted....and sometimes it takes a 2x4 moment for God to get our attention.

I think I had that moment last night.

I've been struggling with feeling spiritually distracted for the past month or so. I've been incredibly blessed, and am so very thankful for that, but when it came to trying to sit still and pray (and listen), I was feeling a bit ADHD. I couldn't seem to stop my brain or my thoughts and shut up long enough to listen to Him. Trying to discern His will in my daily life was quite a struggle, without being able to be quiet and still. I sort of felt like that gerbil on the exercise wheel who not only can't stop running, but can't remember how to get off of the wheel in the first place. It was not only frustrating, but extremely tiring, and I spent a lot of time stressing about what seemed like my inability to pray. Sure, I could recite the prayers of the rosary, but trying to meditate on the mysteries? Nearly impossible, it seemed. Trying to sit down and pray without reciting memorized prayers? I couldn't seem to sit still and focus.

Our oldest son is receiving his First Reconciliation this year, and due to that, I've been having to attend required parent sacramental nights for the past three weeks. Of course, they were on the busiest day of our week, and left me only 45 minutes to pick the kids up from religious ed, feed them dinner, get them to childcare, and get myself to the church in time for the meeting. It didn't exactly help remove the flustered/stressed feeling that I'd been consumed by recently. If anything, I felt more anxious by the time I got to the meeting.

Except for last night.

I walked into the sanctuary last night and felt an intense sigh of relief. That was a bit odd, I thought, considering just how busy and chaotic our day had been up until that moment, but I was willing to go with it. I thankfully accepted the release of the built-up stress...and found a seat for the meeting. Our pastor, whom I love anyway, informed us that the session was going to be on the topic "Prayer" and what it meant in our daily lives as parents.

Can it get any better than this? I thought. Not only did I feel relaxed for the first time in weeks, but we were going to be listening to our incredibly gifted priest talk about a subject that I'd been struggling with for at least a month. It wasn't the first time the topic of prayer came up in my life over the past few weeks......but it was the first time I felt relaxed and open to listening in recent times.

There were so many nuggets of truth that our pastor was throwing out at us that I don't think I could possibly mention all of them (without boring you all to death), so I'll stick to the main ones that struck me. He began by talking about the purpose of prayer, it's benefits, and then launched into a bit of a more "logistical" discussion about prayer: common struggles, obstacles, and ways to overcome those. What really struck me about his talk was just how much I'd fallen victim to some of the very same obstacles and struggles he was mentioning, without me even knowing.

A statement he made really stuck with me - so much that I wrote it on the back of my grocery list from that day. He said:

If we don't pray, we are confined to human wisdom.

Take a minute to think about that. It seems so simple, so obvious - - but yet, so easily forgotten. How many times do we drop our daily prayer time - our time with the Divine, in favour of filling that spot with something human? More sleep, more time online, more mundane errands, more time watching TV? We're giving up something incredibly amazing....for something incredibly mediocre. It doesn't seem to compute, does it? Why would we knowingly choose something of lower quality, instead of going for the best?

I think I know why: it's easier. It's easier to accept (or confine ourselves to) human wisdom. It doesn't take much brain power to live by human rules. They "make sense" to us, with our limited knowledge and understanding. try and live by God's will and His desires for us is hard. We don't understand, a lot of the time. It's a constant "going out on a limb" kind of thing - - and prayer is a conversation about that. Prayer challenges us to go out of our comfort zone, if we're truly actively participating in our prayer lives. Prayer pushes us to grow -- human wisdom does not.

Distraction comes in so many forms - but for me, it seemed that this one statement spoke to my largest distraction. I had allowed myself to be distracted and molded by human wisdom. Human wisdom says we don't need prayer. We are self-sufficient and don't need to rely on God for anything.....and therefore, we don't need prayer. Human wisdom distracted me to the point that I was focusing all of my time and energy on earthly things and concerns....and my ability to focus on Heaven was the first casualty.

As I sat there and reflected on this statement and what it meant in my own prayer life (which felt like a bit of a desert at the moment, mind you), it felt like this gigantic wave was washing over me. Everything that I'd been focusing my time and energy on - instead of my prayer life - was illuminated. The wave seemed to be washing all of those distractions, all of that human wisdom, was so refreshing.

Then, our pastor, told us we were going to be led through a type of prayer known as Lectio Divina. (For non-Catholics, I assume this is similar to what you might consider "praying with Scripture." It's a kind of "holy reading" exercise, where you focus on a particular Scripture passage). This has always been one of my favourite ways to pray. Growing up Catholic in the Bible Belt, I'll admit that my knowledge of Scripture was minimal, at best. As I grew in my faith, and was introduced to some faithful Catholics who led me along the way, I learned just how amazing this form of prayer could be. We were handed a paper with a Scripture passage on it. I flipped over the paper (it had been handed to me upside down), and actually laughed at the irony. It was one of my favourites......and again spoke to the very issue that I'd been struggling with.

The passage was from Romans, chapter 12. Verses 1-2 say:

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.

Do not conform yourself to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

Seriously, I was hit by a 2x4 last night. While these have always been some of my favourite lines from St. Paul, God definitely used them to knock me upside the head in a new way last night. By confining myself to human wisdom....and not God's....I was doing exactly the opposite of what St. Paul is urging us in his letter. I was conforming myself to the wisdom of the day - distracting myself with human things and wisdom. I was building my life, my thoughts, my habits, even my opinions, on the "common sense" wisdom of the day. Instead of turning to God in prayer, I was turning to those around me, usually online through news articles and through social media (like Facebook). I let those distractions take over my mindset (conforming myself to human wisdom!)....and the first thing to go was the ability to sit and be quiet. I was allowing human wisdom and conventions to change my inner being....instead of standing strong against them and renewing my mind (like St. Paul urges us).

I think last week's deactivation of my Facebook was just the first step on my renewal journey. I've already noticed that my mind had been changed by that simple online "tool." I realized, as I went through the withdrawal symptoms (talked about here), that even my mind and thoughts had been formed by this culture of social media. My ability to focus on more than a short news article was pretty much non-existent (trying to read a book was hard, which saddened me quite a bit. Reading was one of my favourite things to do in the past - and now I couldn't focus for more than a few pages, no matter what type of book it was). Thoughts longer than a simple "status update" were few and far between, I'd noticed. I felt constantly distracted as I removed myself from Facebook. I'd never noticed it before - I suppose, because my whole social being revolved around a short, choppy, style of communication. When I stepped away from the website, I realized that my whole life/mindset had adopted the same short, choppy style, without me even realizing it was happening. It wasn't just my prayer life that I was too distracted was my entire life.

Last night's 2x4 helped me realize that renewal of my prayer life needed to be first and foremost on my priority list. Everything else would flow from this - if I focused on God's will and desires for me, and trying to discern that, I would find myself no longer bound by human wisdom. I would be transformed, as St. Paul said. Removing distractions (in my entire life) was the first came the hard part: having the discipline to commit to regular prayer and contemplation times.

God didn't stop there, though. The entire way home, every single song on the radio spoke to this exact issue, even down to using the same analogy I had during the experience (a wave). It was like He was adding a "P.S." to His message to me - I couldn't help but laugh.

I thought I'd share one of those songs - I've always enjoyed this song...but now it means so much more. Maybe you'll find it as inspiring as I did. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Can junk food be addictive?

A friend of mine brought the following article to my attention this morning:

Junk Food Can Hijack Brain Like Drugs Do, Experts Say

It's interesting. Take a minute to read it. I'll wait..............

Okay, welcome back! What did you think? A bunch of baloney, or is there truth to it?

I find the article incredibly interesting. We've been trying hard to eliminate processed foods - especially munchie-like ones - from our diet, and have been pretty munchie-free for the past two months. Overall, we feel 200% better (see the tab titled "The Gym" for a complete update), and don't even really miss those kinds of foods now. We snack only on fresh fruits and veggies, except for an occasional baked good that I might splurge and make, like the cookies below.

The reason I find the article interesting isn't so much in the results that the researchers found in the lab. I find it interesting because we, as a family, experience a sort of withdrawal when we cut the foods out of our diet. I'd been wondering if the "urban legend" of snack food addictiveness actually contained more truth that I had originally thought. If this article is correct, maybe there is a grain of truth in it.

When we cut out our processed items, the cravings were uncontrollable. It took a lot of creative thinking and purposefully distraction to try and combat them. Willpower was a must - if we hadn't have been disciplined about it, I think we would have given in again this time around (this wasn't the first time we'd tried to eliminate processed foods from our diet). It did feel like an addiction, and the temptation was strong for just a little "hit" (for lack of a better term). I realized then, just why so many people are unable to break the habit of junk food. It's not only more convenient (and often cheaper), but it's physically extremely difficult to walk away from junk food.

I'm not sure how I feel about the culpability of the food industry, just yet. I think that we, as Americans, are very quick to want to blame someone else for our own misfortune. If it can be proven (like with the smoking industry) that the companies were aware of the research and misrepresented their products, then there might be a place for blame to fall. Yes, I do believe that some people might be unable to physically break an addiction on their own - - but I don't know if opening a new realm of legal retribution will be a positive move for our society. My instinct tells me that instead, it would just lead to a further diminishing of our sense of self-worth and responsibility.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried to eliminate junk food? What was your experience?

Do you believe that junk food can be addictive? Is this addiction physical, or purely mental/emotional?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Counting blessings

I'm trying hard to focus my thoughts on positive things recently. I know my last post (the pre-picture post) was a bit of a downer, with talking about bullying and all, and I just wanted to reassure everyone. Since that last post - and Mike's announcement on Facebook of my departure - I've gotten a few really nice emails about my decision. I appreciate everyone's kind words and expressed concern more than I could ever put into words. Please know that I am extremely grateful for your love and friendship!

For anyone who maybe was unsure of how to ask, I thought I'd clear up a few things:

- The bullying that I spoke of on my Facebook blog post was not directed at me. While I have felt ridiculed, even persecuted, in the past...that was not what finally pushed me over the edge. I appreciate your concerned notes. No one here said anything to me that hurt my feelings or anything like that - I have a pretty thick skin, believe it or not! I fully expect to receive some not so nice notes or comments when speaking out about my Catholic faith : it's kind of a packaged deal. (Matthew 5:3-11)

- "So, if the bullying was not directed at you, what's the problem?" you might be thinking now. The truth is that I have a bit of an obsessive nature. I think. A lot. The problem came in with my ability to disconnect from Facebook and its conversations. Even when trying my hand at apologetics (which I thoroughly enjoyed, mind you), there was a negative consequence: I couldn't let things go, mentally and emotionally. Recently, it seemed to be consuming me even more frequently, as more and more posts came up that were political or religious in nature. Maybe I was just noticing them more, or maybe they really were increasing in number....whatever it was, I was having a harder and harder time walking away from it, both physically and mentally. I was obsessing over each conversation, thinking about it, researching more points, and trying to wade through the emotions that came with every post. These conversations were truly consuming hours of my day, when that time should have been spent nurturing the relationships at home with my husband and children.

In the end, it all came down to a priority shift: I needed to make my family a higher priority than my time spent on Facebook (both screen time and time spent thinking about it). Maybe I will go back someday...maybe I won't. I've been amazed at the responses that I've gotten - it seems that maybe we all are hungry for a deeper connection than we have been getting through Facebook. That superficial "always in touch" relationship maybe isn't what we should be nurturing. Instead of 527 friends....maybe we should be focusing on those closest to us and getting to really know them. For now, that is what I will be focusing on.

As the past couple of days have passed by, I've noticed just how strong of an addiction Facebook has become for our world. Even Mike, who hardly ever logged in, is having a hard time comprehending just how we will communicate (not me and him....but our family and other families) without this form of social media. It seems that we have become so immersed in this online community that we cannot even begin to fathom moving outside of it. It's slightly fascinating to me - and I'm sure I'll blog about it again. The mental worry about staying in touch, the seemingly physical withdrawal symptoms that occur when I sit down at the computer, the inability (it seems) to take a picture without mentally composing a funny caption at the same time, and what seems to be an incredibly strong habit of constantly creating a "funny, yet intriguing" status update whenever I do something throughout the day, just all adds up to show me that Facebook, for better or worse, has completely changed our everyday lives. I knew that I was logged in quite a bit.....but I didn't realize just how much it had taken over my life until this past weekend.

Even as we adjust to my new, Facebook-less life, I'm reminded that it truly is through the every day, simple things that God shows Himself to us. I'm counting these simple blessings in my life: It's the laughter at the park as brothers chase each other around the sandbox. It's the giggles at the dinner table when the oldest child is a bit too sleepy and can't control his silliness, it's watching a big brother help a younger brother learn to read, it's the smile on the 5 year old's face as he learns to ride a bike with no training wheels......

....and it's walking downstairs after a successful morning of homeschooling the two oldest boys and seeing this waiting for me in the kitchen:

Daddy and son Playdoh time

I truly am blessed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Picture update

I don't have much time to actually write at the moment, but I wanted to record a quick afternoon of fun, at least in pictures!

We checked out this cool playground about 15 minutes from home, called "Playtopia." It was crazy busy with lots of birthday parties going on, but it was a LOT of fun. Tons for the kids to do - which means that we'll most likely be back on a weekday sometime soon!

Enjoy! (You can click on the pictures to see them a bit larger)

What a cheeseball!

He wouldn't stop jumping long enough to take the picture! haha

Rock climbing for babies...

Brotherly love

Digging for dinosaur bones

This is what pure joy looks like.

Check out the tongue - just like his daddy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The New "Playground"

I had this experience, way back in 7th grade, that I don't know if I've ever told anyone about. It was gym class - which, by the way, is TORTURE for an overweight pre-teen- and we had just come in from whatever we'd been doing out on the field for class. We were getting changed back into our school clothes in the gross locker room.

I'd always hated the locker room to begin with. I wasn't FAT, but I wasn't skinny either. I was right-in-the-middle chubby. I had glasses, and was blind as a bat without them. I wasn't the most athletic of people - I could hold my own, but let's just say I wasn't the most graceful athlete on the field. I hated gym class, and especially the locker room. I had no ounce of self-confidence, at all, when it came to that room.

On that day, as we were getting changed back into our school clothes, I decided to put my glasses down on the bench next to the lockers, so I could change my top more easily. One of the "popular" girls in the class decided it would be funny to kick them across the room. Remember what I said earlier - I was blind as a bat without them. This is not an exaggeration. I could not see past the tip of my nose without my glasses. Even now, I border on legally blind without my contact lenses or glasses in place. (I dream of LASIK surgery sometimes...)

The room erupted into fits of laughter as she continued to kick my glasses out of my reach, and I tried to find them so I could see what was going on. I was still only half-dressed - shorts and a bra (I had been working on getting my shirt on when she did it). It was humiliating. Mortifying. I can honestly put myself right back into that moment, and feel my heart racing the feel the embarrassment and pain I felt at that second. It was a horrible moment, and one that I don't like to think about very often.

Today, however, I was reminded - oh so clearly - of that experience. I thought, maybe naively, that as people age, they lose that mob mentality. Bullying becomes less of an issue as people age and mature, I assumed. And, I think for a time at least, it was that way. It seemed that while drama reared its ugly head occasionally, there weren't as many outlets for it as there were in places like school or the bus stop.

And then a virtual school playground was created.

That playground, otherwise known as Facebook, became the gathering place for all the adults in my life. Family, friends, acquaintances; it didn't matter, they all gathered in the little blue and white virtual school playground. I realized today that, while we all may be older, we never really lose that middle school mentality. As a group, we always seem to seek a way to make ourselves in the majority, and the create an "other" out of someone around us. Back in middle school, it was the fat kid, or the kid with glasses. As an adult on's the person who is affiliated with another religion, another political party - it doesn't matter what, just whatever you are NOT becomes the "other."

As soon as the "other" is identified by the group, the attacks start. Just like with the school yard bully, it's okay for the bully to use tactics such as name-calling or below-the-belt punches.....but it can never be okay for someone to fight back. The group will always find a way to allow the bully to continue to form the "other" into whatever he/she wants them to be. The group almost never contains someone that will stand up for the person being attacked. No one wants to become the next focus of the name-calling.

With election season ramping up again, and the plethora of "hot-button" topics that get flung around every day, I feel like this virtual playground is getting more and more out of control every day. The bullies can use every taunt in the book ... and no one stands up for the victim. It doesn't matter if that victim can present well-established articles and research to prove his/her point...if it's not in line with the popular opinion of that group, the bully (or bullies, in some cases) are merciless. Rules of common courtesy are thrown out of the window as accusations fly about the victim's personal morality. Negative assessments and characterizations are thrown around like confetti.

The virtual playground has gotten out of control.

As much as I hate to leave the friend and family that I love, I've made the decision that I will no longer be a part of this chaos. I hope and pray that I will not lose touch with those people that I love, but after seeing friend turn on friend and feelings be hurt left and right --- and having some of my own personal friendships (that I held dear and relied on) fall victim to this mob mentality -- I cannot continue to be a part of it. I couldn't help but be the one to try and speak out against half-truths and slander. I couldn't seem to keep my mouth shut when someone else was being called names or hurt unjustly....and it has caused my own family quite a lot of pain. It has, at times, taken over my days on an emotional level, as I cry in pain for my own hurt feelings, those of my friends, for my relationships, and for those who are being attacked. That emotional pain and anguish has been having a negative effect on my children and family, as I can't seem to put it out of my mind.

The only way for me to repair those effects on my family is to leave the playground.

I truly hope that I can stay in touch with the friends and family that I "saw" on Facebook through more traditional methods. I do care about you, and I worry that I will lose touch with you. I am willing to try and avoid that, at all costs (even if it means keeping the post office afloat financially all on my own).

If you could email me your snail mail addresses and phone numbers, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

It's cookie time!

In our house, at least!

The boys and I decided that today was a "We need cookies" kind of day, so we hiked on down to the grocery store (the boys even walked the 3 mile trek to and from - with a quick stop at the park in the middle!), to get the few extra items we needed for our cookie extravaganza.

We only had time to make one recipe, so we decided that oatmeal raisin it would be: they still were SUPER sweet and yummy....and Mommy didn't feel as guilty. After all, they had oatmeal in them, so they were healthy, right? Pretty much a meal on their own? (If you couldn't tell, the right answers to these questions would be a resounding YES!).

Anywho, the recipe turned out fantastically delicious. I would highly recommend these with a hot cup of coffee....or a cold glass of milk. They could go either way, depending on what you had the need for. I might just squeeze one in tomorrow morning with my cup of coffee..........when the boys aren't looking, of course!

Enjoy your cookies!

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:

3/4 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add both sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer, and then stir in the remaining flour by hand. Stir in the rolled oats, then the raisins.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on an ungreased baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes (I did 10) or until the edges are golden. Cook on a wire rack.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Remember the days?

When all you had to worry about was how high you were being pushed on the swing?

I miss those days.