Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Politics with a 6 year old

On our way home from school today Munchkin recited her po-em that she has to recite next week in front of her class. It is about voting and has the word candidate in it. This is our following conversation:

Mommy: Do you know what a candidate is?
Munchkin: Someone you vote for.
Mommy: Did you know there is an election next week?
Munchkin: Yep
Mommy: What are we voting for in the next election?
Munchkin: The President of the United States!
Mommy: Do you know who the candidates are?
Munchkin: McCain and Obama.
Mommy: Who do you think we should vote for?
Munchkin: McCain.
Mommy: Why do you think that?
Munchkin: It just sounds better in my mouth.

We have not talked politics too much in front of the kiddos so it surprised me when she said McCain. But, it made me laugh when she gave her reason. Typical 6 year old thinking? Or the wisdom of a child?

{TWD} Creepy Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes Part Deux

Finally! They are done. I have spent the day moving boxes from my living room to the office. When we took our house off the market last month we decided to close our storage locker at the same time. It wasn't worth the money we were putting into it to keep it. So a 10x10 storage locker was emptied into our living room. Granted the storage locker was not full but there was enough to really stress me out! Now my office can stress me out....

What fixes stress better than a little chocolate though, right? I am pretty excited to try these tonight with my Bunco group. I am pretty good at usually choosing a new recipe when having people over for dinner and they usually turn out...OK. But, you can't go wrong with baked goods...I don't think....

This weeks recipe was brought to you by Clara at I heart Food 4 Thought. You can find the entire recipe on her site so go check it out. She also has an entire site dedicated to cupcakes so if you are a cupcake aficionado make sure to check that one out as well!

If you still want to join you have only a couple of days left to sign up. All you need is the book, a blog and to ask! In the meantime go check out how over 275 other bakers did on these!

Monday, October 27, 2008

{TWD} Creepy Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes

Ok ok! I am the lamest ever!! I usually get my recipes done before Tuesday so I can actually post on Tuesday. Well, I am having Costume Party Bunco at my house today so I am making them for the party! Please come back tonight so you can see pictures of my creepy cupcakes!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reading Transition

It is amazing to me how fast a transition can come on. When Munchkin was reading the Magic Treehouse books (she has about 4 left in the series) she would read them out loud. She would bring them with her everywhere and there was a constant stream of Munchkin from the backseat. It wasn't annoying like asking every ten seconds when we will be there is. It wasn't being mean to Little Man. It was nice to hear her sounding out new words and really hearing the flow of her reading.
She brought a book in the car the other day that is a little bit higher level. I think it is a 4th grade book. The library has a sticker system that says what kind of books you can check out and I think I remember seeing blue as 4th grade. Anyway. I realized she was silent. There was no sound. I looked back and she was into the book. I think it is quite a bit more difficult than the Magic Treehouse books. But, she is reading to herself! It happened so fast it took me by surprise. I had gotten used to hearing that sweet voice reading and reading and reading. Now I have to ask how the book is.

I did read the book she is reading first to make sure it was OK. She is having a little trouble with some words but shows them to me and we sound them out together. One was Vietnam.
It makes me a little sad that she is transitioning in her reading so fast. But, I am so proud of her at the same time. It makes me treasure the moments she still lets me read to her even more.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Conversations of Faith

The last few days Bobby and I have both been talking to Munchkin about faith and accepting Christ. She has had tons of questions about faith, and baptism and angels. So, it has been challenging and wonderful all at the same time. More than anything else in this life I want our children to know Christ and to want to walk in His ways. But, I also want it to be their faith and not just because they were born into a Christian family. I don't want their faith to be regulated by just being in church Sunday morning or for it to be because the south is a church culture.

I hope and pray that our kiddos see us living our faith every day and in everything we do. I pray that they will be solid strong Christians that want to change the world for Christ. I want them to have compassion and empathy for others.

The other day my heart leapt for joy when Munchkin said "I have chosen! I love God!" I know she does. She loves to be at church, she loves musical worship, she loves the Bible verses she is learning and she love Konnect. Prayers are a little difficult but some of the things she comes up with give a glimpse into what a prayer warrior she could be someday. She often prays for those who are struggling that they wouldn't have to struggle anymore.

I know her little heart is pure but is it my own insecurity that I want her to say the magic words/the sinners prayer? I pray that Bobby and I are the ones that get to lead her and Little Man to Christ. I pray that he and I will both get to be there when they make that decision.

Munchkin is asking all kinds of questions about baptism. She wants to know how old the kids were at church that got bap-ti-tized. I said probably 7,8, or 9. She insisted that some of them were probably 6! Maybe. I told her that her daddy and I were both 10 when we were baptized. I also explained that it is a symbol to show others that you have asked Jesus into your heart. She seems to get it. I don't want to push her. I know Bobby doesn't either. So, I guess we pray, we wait and let each of our kids keep exploring until they are ready to make their decisions. Until then the lines of communication will stay open and I pray we will have many more conversations of Faith.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

{TWD} Pumpkin Muffins

I will start out my saying I am no fan of pumpkin anything. I don't like pumpkin pie but I had never tried pumpkin muffins before. I think it may be a texture thing with the pie though as these were absolutely delicious! I am also not a fan of nuts in anything but a Snickers bar. Again...texture. I think it messes up fudge, cookies and brownies. Why mess with chocolate perfection? I was not terrible excited to make these muffins as I did not think I was going to like them. I was also not sure my kids would like them. I did think Bobby would like them though so I soldiered on and made them.

It think it helped that everyones status updates on Facebook the day I made these had something to do with baking Pumpkin something.

Since I don't like nuts I decided to make half a batch with chocolate chips and the other half with walnuts. Oh yeah, the recipes called for golden raisins too. Since Little Man is the only raisin eater in the house I left them out. I figured he wouldn't miss them and if I put them in I would be stuck with 6 muffins with raisins.

Here are my two batter halves. Little Man surprised me by asking for a beater. He took a few licks and handed it back. The boy is not a batter eater.

This right here kind of made me want to gag. The words congealed and coagulated also make me a little urpy..... the pumpkin is what made me think them. Although, it was just the indentations. The pumpkin smelled good and came out of the can quite nicely. I have half a can left to make another batch of muffins with.

These smelled delicious when they were baking and my Little Guy kept coming in and asking when they would be done. Finally the time came to test them. They were a hit...with everyone in our house! I liked these a lot..well the chocolate chip ones anyway! Little Man ate both kinds without a word of complaint. My daughter is like me with the nuts. She only tried the chocolate chip ones but her comment was "Mommy! These are better than cake!!!"
My husband also liked these a lot. He really likes nuts in his baked goods so i guess I should make some with them a little more often for his sake.
So, this was a good one that will be making its way into our regular fall cookbook!

For the recipe you can check out Sounding my Barbaric Gulp by Kelly or you can purchase the book Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Thanks Kelly for picking such a delicious recipe!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Simple Womans Daybook

I found this site through A Year at Oak Cottage, which I found through Tuesdays with Dorie. I think it is a lovely way to start off the week and will be posting this on Mondays.

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, OCTOBER 20, 2008 ...

Outside My Window...
The weather is beautiful. The leaves are just starting to change and a frost warning was sent out for the day. No frost but a nip in the air. Just enough to break out the sweaters and make cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

I am thinking...
about my friend Beth today. She is moving soon and I am hoping she will make it to My Gym this morning for our make up class. That reminds me...I need to text her!

I am thankful for...
My sweet husband who got up this morning and bathed the kiddos so I could get a few things done downstairs. I am so thankful for the hard work he puts in every day at his job to provide for us.

From the kitchen...
Soon there will be the delicious scent of chicken, potatoes and carrots coming from the crock pot. In the meantime I can still smell the cinnamon rolls I made for breakfast.

I am wearing...
Jeans and a t-shirts and a gray hoodie. Normally I would be in flip flops but the weather has just gotten cold enough that I have had to start wearing shoes. I have on my black Target One Star Converse tennies. This is my standard uniform.

I am creating...
Scrapbook layouts in my head and storage solutions for all of our stuff.

I am going...
all day long today. I am editing pictures this morning, heading to My Gym for a make-up class, will walk this afternoon, take Munchkin to dance class this evening and maybe get home in time for Heroes.

I am reading...
If I get to read today I will be reading Readers Digest. It is sitting here next to the computer. I may have too much on my plate for that today though. I did just read the entire Twilight Series though.

I am hoping...
I can fit everything in I need to do today including laundry, and unpacking at least a couple of boxes.

I am hearing...
Super Why from the living room and the dog just being loud.

Around the house...
There are still boxes and boxes and boxes piled in my living room. I am trying to go through them to put away, give away, throw away. It is difficult though as I am quite sentimental about my "stuff". I know I shouldn't be but when you are not near family I find it nice to have the reminders of them around.

One of my favorite things...
Is hot chocolate when it just starts to get cold outside.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Pediatric ophthalmologist appointment for my Little Man, volunteering at school and unpacking more boxes. Watching the Big Kahuna one day and making sure Munchkin gets her homework done. Finding another book to read and of course Thursday night TV. Making the rest of Little Mans costume, finding one for Munchkin. There is a lot on our plate this week.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
This is kind of an older picture. I can tell by the hair. This was before she was swimming every week. The chlorine was really bad for all of this beautiful hair and then we cut it off. She has always loved books and reading. I guess that is why she is 6 and already reading 4th grade books.

Check out the Simple Woman to read more posts like this one.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Capture Music City books are in

And I have mixed feeling about it. I am a little bummed that I ordered it early. It is a nice book with great pictures in it. But....I don't have any pictures in it. My one picture of Bobby and Little Man playing guitar on the swing is on the DVD but that is my only picture that made it. My name and blog address are in the index but it is still not one of my pictures in the book. I ran down to pick it up at Davis Kidd tonight while Bobby went to a birthday party with the kiddos. I despise Green Hills. There is a lot of money there but there is also a ton of traffic there. We drove down there every week when Little Man was in therapy and I was so glad we went at ten in the morning when there was little traffic. Friday night at the Green Hills mall is a horrible horrible time! I was already late due to traffic when I had to drive around the entire parking lot for 10 minutes looking for a parking spot. Did I mention Davis Kidd is right next door to the Cheesecake Factory and is in the same parking lot as the movie theater?

Once I got through the door I couldn't find the books. I made my way downstairs and discovered the other 218 photographers sharing stories about how wonderful it was that their photos were in the book. I missed the part where they highlighted the award winners. I was told later that every one of them are long time professional photographers. After flipping through the book really quickly to see if any of my photos were in there I sat down to get a better look. Another photographer was in the room with me and was livid. I could see it on her face. When I left she was talking to the people from the Tennessean and informing them that it was a political process and that it wasn't right that you had to buy the book without finding out if your pictures were in it ahead of time. I think something that might have helped would have been having a DVD player set up with the other photos displayed. Maybe that would have helped....or maybe not.

I did meet a couple of really nice people and the book is very nice. But, I am just disappointed that my photos didn't make the cut for the book. Of course, I am not alone....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

{TWD} Lenox Almond Biscotti

One of the coolest things about joining Tuesdays with Dorie has been seeing people baking together from all over the world. This weeks recipe was chosen by Gretchen of Canela and Comino from Peru.
I will start out by saying that my husband LOVED this recipe. He likes almonds so it was almost a no brainer that it would go over well at our house. My little Munchkin also loved it. She commandeered a beater as soon as I was done mixing the batter.

It started out looking like these two little logs. I should have listened to the advice given on the Q & A on the Tuesdays with Dorie Site. I know my oven cooks slow AND I know that things take longer on my stones.
The logs spread waaaaay out and didn't look done but I thought they would bake a little more on the stone. I was wrong.

After mutilating the dough....yes it was still doughy there was no way each of my tasty little biscottis were going to stand up like soldiers to bake and dry out more. I tried. They had to stay down flat to bake again. So, they really ended up being more like an almond cookie than regular biscotti. I didn't really mind though. Regular biscotti kind of hurts the roof of my mouth when I try to eat it. You may be asking why I don't dunk it in my coffee to soften it up. Well, I don't drink coffee and dunking it in Diet Coke is just not the same.
I will definitely make this again and maybe try some of the playing around items with it. And, of course, I will bake it twice as long.
I think I heard some people put in white chocolate chips and cranberries. That right there says fall to me! Yum!

Bobby had a couple biscotti with ice cream and really enjoyed it.

I love finding new recipes that are not difficult to make, that my entire family enjoys.

If you want to join TWD you need to sigh up before the 31st of this month. There are so many bakers that the time has come to limit the number of people signing up. Check it out here if it is something you want to do!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Halloween Costumes

Do you dress up? Do you celebrate? What is your take on Halloween? I have always loved Halloween. The dressing up, the candy, the festival, did I say candy? Of course I am to old to trick or treat these days but I get to go vicariously through my kiddos.

Poor Bobby really wants to be Sgt. Master Chief or whatever his name is from Halo. Those costumes are expensive.... We thought about being the Incredibles this year but I don't think that is going to happen.

Munchkin is a little undecided and changes her mind every five seconds. She saw the costume the Soccer Star is wearing this year and thinks she wants to match her. Of course she also saw Strawberry Shortcake, a ninja and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz..... We'll see.

Little Man wants to be Super Why. Every time we ask him what he wants to be he shouts "Super Why!! To the Wescue! Power to Wead!!!!"
Now here we are with the real reason for this post. I can't find a Super Why costume. Wanna know why? Because the Ebay people bought them up and are selling them for $50 and up. They are thin little jammie type costumes that I think you can buy for around $19. I know you are trying to make a buck people but come on!! I will attempt to make a Super Why costume before buying it from you for $50!

Then there is my costume...I have no idea what I am going to be. Suggestions?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Call and Response

This movie is coming out next week. I encourage you to go see it and get informed about the human trafficking that is happening. It is only playing in 2 theaters in the Nashville area:Click here to see where. This is the info I got from my friend Lori today.

Hey there! Call and Response opens this week for a limited time in selected theaters across the nation. Check it out and invite friends :)
Slavery is everywhere - from the coffee we drink to the clothes we wear to the massage parlors on the corner. 27 MILLION men, women and children in slavery today, overseas and in our own backyards - Berkeley, San Francisco, Detroit, DC, you name it...
Call and Response is a documentary by Justin Dillon, friend and musician, which uses undercover footage and interviews with politicians, abolitionists and other luminaries (Madeline Albright, Gary Haugen, David Batstone, Cornel West, Julia Ormond and others) to expose the evil of human trafficking and other forms of modern-day slavery. And amazing musical performances to inspire individuals to take action and build a cohesive 21st century abolitionist movement (Talib Kweli, Moby, Matisyahu, Ben Folds Five, Natasha Bedingfield and others).
The film was made on a small budget with heaps of volunteer time and donations, from the artists to the producers to the editors to the promoters (I transcribed some unbelievably moving interviews) which means that ALL the profits from the film will go directly to organizations, such as IJM and Not For Sale, organizations which are freeing and caring for slaves as I write. Awesome eh? This means that promotion of the movie itself is volunteer - ie word of mouth. So please, if you feel so moved, pass this along to friends, family, coworkers, whomever...

If you'd like to learn more about the film and showtimes, check out http://www.callandresponse.com. Justin and Julia Ormond will also be discussing the film on Dr Phil this Thursday, Oct 9.

Thanks for reading this - and for participating in the 21st century abolitionist movement to free each and every one of the 27 million. Peace.

"Justice is what Love looks like in Public..." Dr. Cornel West
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to gain mighty triumphs, even though checkered by failure, then to take rank with those poor spirits who neither gain much nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory or defeat." - Teddy Roosevelt

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Blogger Award!

Montee at at Montee is a Palmetto Girl, has given me my first blogger award! Montee is related to Tracy and found me through her! I love reading about her travels for baseball and her photo of the week! Thanks Montee for my first award! I have been asked by Montee to write six interesting facts about myself and to pass this Kreativ Blogger Award on to six other of my blogging friends.

1. I remember eating fish and chips wrapped in newspaper and covered in malt vinegar. I lived in Scotland at the time and I was 3.

2. I am planning on writing a novel in November. So, if you don't hear from me you now know why. I got the idea from my sister who took the challenge last year.

3. My favorite place in the United States is the top of Half Dome in Yosemite. It is a long hike but totally worth it.

4. I love Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live. No matter what happens he still has an optimistic outlook. It is a good reminder to look for the positive in every situation.

5. I became a Christian at the age of 7 at VBS. My faith really became my own when I was a sophomore in High School. I grew a ton in college and feel like I am stronger in my faith every day.

6. Gossip magazines are a guilty pleasure. In Touch and Star are a couple of favorites.

Here are the 6 Creative Bloggers I pass this award on to:
Each of you please write 6 interesting facts about yourself and pass it on to 6 other Creative Bloggers.

1. Vanessa of Crayons in my Coffee
2. Megan of Careers, Coffee, Dating and Me
3. Kim of The Many Moods of Homeschool Mommy
4. Debbie of A Woman of a Certain Age
5. Sharon of La Vida Loca
6. Kacey of While I Wait for the King

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Precocious Moments with Munchkin

The other night as we were climbing in the car Little Man chucked a fruit snack wrapper out the door. Munchkin picked it up and with a giant sigh and a gigantic amount of sarcasm said "Every day is earth day, Little Man! It is the only earth we have!"

She is such a little sassy pants. I love that she is aware and wants to take care of the earth. However, I do need to remind her not to be so Little Miss Know-it-all with her brother!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

{TWD} Carmel-Peanut Topped Brownie Cake

This weeks recipe was chosen by Tammy at Wee treats by Tammy.
As my previous posts alluded to I had a scrapbook weekend getaway starting on Friday. I realized at about 3 pm that I was supposed to bring dessert for our community dinner. What better dessert to bring than my Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. Everything started out ok. I had just enough heavy cream left over from Creme Brulee that I didn't even have to go to the store for that.

I had to make the caramel from scratch by watching to see when the sugar, corn syrup and water turned amber. I was a little concerned when it didn't turn when the book said it would but apparently that was a common problem for more than just me. It finally turned and I put the peanuts in to coat.
I thought it looked really pretty and really chocolaty. I am not a fan of nuts in any kind of dessert but Bobby is. That is why I made it this way. I may substitute something else for the topping when making this again.
You can see the freshly made caramel dripping off the sides in these two pictures.
Like I said, I realized kind of late that I was supposed to take dessert. You are supposed to cook the cake completely before putting the topping on and well, I just didn't have time to wait. I think it barely cooled 10 minutes before I started heaping the peanuts and caramel on top. (Quick Edit to add: as I was heaping the gooey deliciousness on Munchkin said "Mommy. Why are you putting baked beans on the cake?") I decided to cut it and leave a big piece for Bobby and the kiddos and this was the result:
Yep, everything ran off the top. I put it in the cupcake carrier and took it up to my retreat. After a delicious dinner prepared by the other ladies there we partook in this now ugly cake. Everyone seemed to like it but one lady picked the peanuts out. She wasn't allergic but they don't like her. And, since I am not a fan of peanuts myself I completely understood.

Bobby said he and Little Man liked it a lot. Munchkin picked out the nuts. A girl after my own heart! :)

Thanks Tammy for choosing such a fun recipe!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Me Time

I have been a stay at home mama for the last 6 years. That means I run my kids all over town and occasionally stay at home. I am a terrible housekeeper but I am a good mommy and like to think I am a pretty good wife. Now that Munchkin is back in school Little Man and I spend a lot of time together. We work on letters, run errands, play cars, volunteer at school and do some chores together. If the TV is on during the day it is tuned to NPT so we can watch Word World and Super Why. All that to say, I don't get all that much me time. Even saying that I need me time sounds selfish to me. So often I feel like I don't deserve time for me, that it is selfish to want to sit on the couch with a trashy magazine and read it cover to cover.

Well, this weekend my wonderful hubby agreed to stay at home with the kiddos while I went away on a scrap retreat. It was kind of last minute but it was refreshing. I love my hubby and my kiddos with all of my heart so a weekend away like that is full of mixed emotion. I always hear about how your kids are only little once so treasure every moment. It makes me feel a little guilty to go away for the weekend because of what I am missing. But, out kids love their daddy so much and it is a great chance for them to spend time together as well. They had a fantastic weekend.

All that to say, I had an entire weekend of Me Time to relax, spend time on a hobby I enjoy, and hang out with other Godly women. I am refreshed and relaxed and ready to start a new week. Even though I don't always feel like I need time for me I suppose I really do.

I will post some of my layouts soon!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Leipers Fork

A few days ago Bobby mentioned that there was an RC Fly-in at a farm in Leipers Fork. I have always wanted to go down there and explore the town as we have a friend that used to live there. I knew it was tiny so I shouldn't have been surprised when it was really one block of shops. Out first stop was the potty since it took about 45 minutes to get there. There was a sigh that Outhouse-Outback. They weren't kidding. There were 2 port-a-potties with a string of cactus lights in them.

Second stop was Sweets a little candy store. During the Capture Music City contest I had seen a few pictures of the store and wanted to check it out. We let the kids pick a few pieces of candy and we were on our way.

Bobby wanted to get over to the fly in. Unfortunately most of the action had taken place the day before and we got there when everyone was packing up. He still got to fly his plane he just completed though. While he drove over to the field the kids and I checked out an art gallery, an antiques store and a gazebo. We walked past Puckett's Grocery and The Country Boy restaurant. Then we walked over to the field to hang out with Bobby.

Bobby was busy flying his plane when we got there. The wind was blowing pretty hard though so he didn't fly too much longer.

So, now we have experienced Leipers Fork. It is definitely tiny but I think would be even better if you are looking for antiques. We had a great time checking out an historic area less than an hour away from us.