Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Family!

A few days after my mom flew home, my cousin Marcy and 3 of her 4 kiddos came to visit us! We were so surprised & excited that they would make the drive all the way to our house.

The first 2 years we lived here, she and her family only lived 4 hours away in the Kansas City area. After living thousands of miles away most of our adult lives we were shocked that our husbands' jobs would bring us within 4 hours of one another! We were so blessed to be able to see them several times during those 2 years. It was great spending time with The Turners - getting to know their children, meeting their 4th child Dane and introducing them to Bryce & Drew. When Steve's job recently relocated him to the Chicago area we were so sad. They now live about 11 hours away! So, since her oldest son Trey had a baseball tournament in Kansas City she figured she would make the trek to see us since they were so close.

We met up that afternoon at the waterpark in Branson. It was the perfect way to chill out on a scorching hot & humid day!

Ellie soakin' up the rays! Something Marcy and I did a lot of at her age!

The boys playing in the water



Reading a Curious George book to the 4 extremely tired little boys!

Cy & Dane playing in our pool

Ellie driving the boys' truck

The boys watching Curious George together on my bed

Marcy, Ellie, Cy & Dane,
Thank you so much for making the huge sacrifice to come visit us. I know it was a lot of driving in a short amount of time. We had so much fun playing with you and making fun memories even though we only had 24 hours with you! Bryce and Drew were SO sad when you left. They kept saying, "I miss my cousins. Why do dey live so fa away? Come back to our house!" We sure wish you still lived in KC. We miss spending time with y'all. We love you all so much and can't wait until we can be together again. We are so glad you are our family!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Moving Into June!

A few days after Jim & Denise left, my Mom flew in! Five of the six parents/grandparents visited in May! Mike was unable to come on this trip due to some prior commitments.
Bryce and Drew are always excited to go to the airport, especially when it involves picking up a grandparent. This day was no exception!
They waited patiently for Grandma behind the security check point
and immediately started YELLING her name as soon as they saw her!
They were so happy to have someone else to love on them and to play with!We had beautiful weather while Mom was here. We spent a couple of days at the river...

We played with some other children that had little fishing nets...the boys had so much fun catching little minnows!

Grandma bought the boys inflatable turtles and buckets for the next trip...they were a hit!

The boys being silly with my sun hat!

Mom was very happy that she got to see the boys' last 2 swim lessons and of course, they were thrilled to show Grandma all of their moves!

Mom was here for 2 weeks so Jimmy and I got to get away a few times (we just don't do that enough!) and leave the munchkins with Grandma! They had lots of silly fun together!

WE love you Mom & Grandma and had so much fun with you. Thank you for all of your love and help. WE look forward to spending time with you and Mike later this summer creating lots of fun memories!

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Family Food Faves

I came across this oatmeal-raisin type cookie on one of my favorite shows on The Food Network..."Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger"

Even though they have more of a muffin-like texture than an actual cookie texture my boys love them and I feel better about offering this as a snack than a sugar/fat-filled cookie. And, they love to make them with me! The only thing they don't add is the pureed carrots - I just don't want them to know that there is a vegetable in there!

Breakfast Cookies

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (I used regular whole-wheat flour)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup (1 small jar) strained carrot baby food
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup bran cereal flakes (I use Kashi 7 Whole Grain Cereal)
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted in a dry skillet for 2 minutes, until fragrant and chopped
Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Combine butter, oil and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, scraping down sides if necessary, until sugars have dissolved and mixture is light in color, about 1 minute. Add egg, carrot puree and vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add oats, flakes, raisins and walnuts and mix over low speed just until incorporated. Dough will be slightly sticky and less cohesive than traditional cookie dough. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using between 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter, form a ball and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Wet hands and use palm of hand to flatten cookies until about 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are fragrant but still soft. Let cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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