Peach Cobbler Training

posted on: Thursday, May 21, 2015

One of my favorite parts about Emma getting older is that we're in the phase of life where she's beginning to learn her way around the kitchen.  It's important to me that ALL of my kids learn how to follow recipes as well as experiment on their own.  My mom did such a great job of that with all of us growing up.  My brothers are as manly as it gets and what I love most about them is they're both fantastic cooks/bakers.

I thought it would be fun for each kid to start with their own "signature dessert".  Something that they could perfect and take pride in.  Emma's dessert that she has been working on is Peach Cobbler.  I love seeing her confidence grow in the kitchen as she learns how to follow recipes, figures out how to measure and most importantly learns how to clean up after herself :)  But what I love most is getting to spend that time with just her in the kitchen while she's figuring it all out.  Getting to see first hand the satisfaction and pride she has when she serves the dessert to everyone after dinner.

Our plan is to start with Peach Cobbler and then she's going to work her way through different fruit type cobblers using whatever seasonal fruit we can get our hands on.  Our favorite recipe thus far has been Paula Deen's Peach Cobbler recipe.  Do you have a favorite cobbler recipe you'd be willing to share?! We'd love to try it!

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Lately

posted on: Monday, May 18, 2015

I've sat down several times to update the blog over the past few months.  And each time I sit down to do so I have just stared at the screen trying to think of something to write.  This fifth pregnancy has proven to suck every last bit of brain power I have out of me. :)

We've been busy this past month… a good busy.  End of school activities, filling in as a sub-pianist for our old church an hour away, soccer, lots of rainy days and just life in general.  School gets out in the next few weeks and then we're off on a beach vacation as a family.  Our plans for the rest of the summer include swimming every day and having a baby :)

I've been spending a lot of my extra time lately figuring out what our next year looks like as a growing family.  I was talking to a girlfriend the other day who just had her fifth… we were talking about scheduling.  We were talking about what our schedules look like and how we're learning to adjust with our growing families.  I think for me what happened was we had so many little ones close together that I just out of habit continued on with our old scheduling and my old ways.  And this past spring I've learned quickly that what worked before just doesn't work as well.  I've quickly been learning that scheduling and having a plan in place for our days is a necessity of I'm going to get anything done.  I've been pouring my evenings into meal planning, school/curriculum planning and cleaning schedules.  And as nerdy as it sounds I've loved every minute of it.  I want our home to run like a well oiled machine and taking the time to think through the smaller details of how our household is run has me a bit giddy ;)

I'm excited to get back into my normal blogging routine… I love having a place to write our memories but also the creative outlet side of it.  Hope all has been well with you all!!!
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German Pancakes

posted on: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

 I love to make breakfast for dinner at least once a week. It's always a crowd pleaser and takes the guess work out of one night of the week.  We LOVE German Pancakes at our house!  I like to serve it with a side of sausage and some fresh fruit.  This 9x13 is just enough pancake for our entire house… we're on the brink of needing to make a double recipe!



//GERMAN PANCAKES//
ingredients//
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
dash of salt
2 Tbs Cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs butter

directions//

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. As oven preheats, place the butter in 9×13” baking dish and put in oven for the butter to melt.
 Place the eggs, milk, flour, salt and vanilla in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Pour batter into the baking dish with the melted butter. Bake, for 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. 
Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Serve with butter and syrup!


Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

posted on: Thursday, April 23, 2015

Muffins are a staple in our house.  And not just for breakfast, I love serving them for snacks!  This Peanut Butter Banana Muffin recipe is one that I tend to make more for snacks than for breakfast.  They're super delicious topped with boysenberry jelly and a smidge of peanut butter.  Enjoy!

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA MUFFINS
//ingredients

2 Cups flour
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 ripe bananas, mashed

//directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the peanut butter, oil, eggs, milk and bananas.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened.
  5. Spoon the batter into 12 well greased muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Easter

posted on: Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Sunday this year looked a bit differently than it normally does.  I am filling in as church pianist in our previous town which is almost an hour and a half away.  Which meant that Easter morning I left before everyone was up.  It was a gray and rainy Sunday and we didn't get to meet up as a family until after church was over.  Lunch was mexican food and dinner was delivery pizza because I was too tired to cook a full Easter meal.  
But you know even though it wasn't the most idyllic day… it was a beautiful Easter.  The words from our pastor's message keep resonating with me… "I need Easter every day."  And boy do I.  I want the celebration and the beauty of what Easter means to be something that is on my tongue every day.  The gratitude and that overwhelming feeling of what Christ did for me on the cross… I want to remember that daily and to celebrate it daily.  

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
My sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

He washed away all my sins
All my sins

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete
"Jesus died my soul to save"
My lips shall still repeat

Yes, He did

Oh, praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead



//pictures from Saturday's Easter Egg Hunt at their Nan and Pop's house







Guest Post: Ruthie from Live, Laugh, Love

  I'm excited to introduce Ruthie to y'all today! She blogs over at Live, Laugh, Love! We just wrapped up her time doing my Blog Mentorship Program… it was so great getting to know her!  I think you'll enjoy her post today :) Enjoy!

________________________________________________________________________________

 Hey there!  I'm Ruthie from Live, Laugh, Love, and I'm delighted to spend time with you, courtesy of the very gracious (and gorgeous) Ashley!



     My life is a mixture of many things, but above all, I am The Mom.  I have been The Mom for 26 years now - whoa, that seems long.  I always wanted to be The Mom - more than anything else, and four kids and a nearly empty nest later, I've been struggling to figure out what it is I do with my life now. 

     Turns out, I blog. 

     I blog about my husband Jim and I as we learn to go on with life, and continue on with our funny, slightly offbeat, crazy relationship.



 About the struggle to let go of my college kids, and my new grandson, Sawyer - the funniest, most creative, intellectual 18 month old to grace the planet.





  The care of my elderly parents, Paula Deen's Orange Glazed Breakfast rolls (part of my blog is called Ruthie's Kozi Kitchen), and advice on child rearing from The Mom.





     I also write about my walk with the Lord, and am currently doing a series called, "52 Weeks" entailing journaled thoughts and findings on a verse or passage a week from the Bible. Click to read a recent entry about a scary episode with one of my children, and how God can bring peace amidst any circumstance.




      My theme verse for the year is Proverbs 31:25, "Strength and honor are her clothing, she shall rejoice in time to come." (NKJV)  If you've ever studied the Proverbs 31 woman, you know she is a pretty remarkable lady.  I find it quite daunting to live up to her standards - after all, I hate getting up in the morning, and I don't sew all my kid's clothes.  She sets the bar high, but her character is at the heart of the matter, and that is essentially what we need - a wise heart that follows after God.

     "She laughs at the time to come" the ESV describes her. 

     Laughing at the future?  Try worrying about the future.  That's more my thing.

     Maybe you're in the throes of raising kids and you JUST NEED SOME AIR.  You feel as if the time will never come when you can just sit down and read a book for pleasure.  Or perhaps you are worried about things unknown to come.  Maybe you have a terminally ill loved one.  The world is looking more and more scary with each passing day, and we worry about what the future holds for our kids.  We all have things looming on the horizon that we don't want to face.


     The Hebrew word for "rejoice" in this passage is "sachaq" and means "to laugh (in pleasure or detraction), to make merry, mock, play, (laugh to) scorn, be in sport".

     Huh?!

     To make fun of the future?

     You see, in truth, the last part of the verse has to do with the first part.  She is rejoicing in time to come because strength and honor are her clothing.  She has saturated herself with living righteously.  It is her way of life, and in that she can rest and have peace.  She knows disappointments will come.  But she has wisely armed herself for those battles ahead of time. 


     So let's take hold of this joy.  Obviously it's possible - the Proverbs 31 woman did it.  Remember what the angel said to Mary, right after he told her she would conceive the Son of God by the Holy Spirit?  He had just informed her that her barren, elderly cousin, Elizabeth was pregnant and in her 6th month!  "For nothing will be impossible with God."  (Luke 1:37).  God used these two women to further His plan of redemption and salvation for us.  It is God's will for us to walk in this strength and honor, and when He asks us to do something - He will make a way for us to do it. 

     Focusing on thankfulness in the daily small details of life brings joy.


     I made a "Thankful Jar" for answered prayers for 2015.  My whole family, and friends who pass through our home, are welcome to partake.  At the end of the year, during advent season, we will read a few of these precious answers each night.  It will be a time of thankfulness and joy.  I challenge you to try it!

     Let's lay hold of that joy today.  What will you do to remember to rejoice in the future?


    
     "Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come." Proverbs 31:25
    

    

  

Together

posted on: Saturday, April 4, 2015

I was talking with a friend the other afternoon about styles of parenting.   How some parents love to be out and about constantly… lots of play dates and outings.  And there are others who love to just be home with family.  I've found the more kids we have the more I lean towards just staying home and enjoying each others company. I mean heck…there are enough of us for a party at all times :)  Maybe it has to do with how you're raised?! I don't know… but either way.. I love just being home and together with my people.  

The past few nights Travis has lit the fire pit in the back and we've been making s'mores.  I love everything about it.  The twinkle lights hanging from the trees, smell of the fire burning, sitting by my best friend with the kids running around, lots of laughing, lessons about why we don't fling flaming marshmallows, dirty clothes, sticky faces and fingers… we're in such a sweet spot in life with these little ones.  I love that these are memories in the making.

I hope you have been enjoying Easter weekend…. He is alive my friends!!!!!