Monday, January 27, 2014

What's Cooking

I cook a lot.  With a family of our size and budget, that's a given.  Our meals tend to be simple and basic: a meat and two, soup, a casserole.  I love to bake though.  And since baked goods aren't due to be on the table at 5:00, I can do them whenever I have free time a napping baby.  I thought I'd share some recipes I've enjoyed lately:

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread:  The cranberries were on sale at the store for fifty cents a bag, so I picked them up not sure what I would make with them.  This looked really good, so I had Kate (who is working on fractions) double the recipe for me.  Oh my!  I think we may go back for more cranberries to freeze to have this again some time.  The sour cranberries in the sweet bread were so good!

Chicken Parmesan Casserole:  This was just okay.  It was easy enough to make, everyone ate it, but I don't think anyone asked for seconds.

No Bake Energy Bites: I had all the things on hand to make these.  They were wonderful.  I tried to make a second batch into a more cereal consistency--adding more oats.  I thought it was good, but the kids totally caught on and wouldn't eat the cereal version.

Cabbage Steaks:  So you know that I don't just feed my family new sweets, we also try new veggies, or at least new ways to prepare old veggies.  This one went over well.  Nate said he didn't care for it, but he also said that a cranberry was sweet.  In other words, he's not a reliable witness!  Next time I may add Worcestershire sauce too.

Though I haven't made either of these lately, they are probably my two favorite cake recipes:

Italian Cream Cheese Cake: This is a really rich cake with a great taste.  I usually leave out the nuts because I leave the nuts out of just about everything except pecan pie...  That's just me though!


Chocolate Cake: This actually isn't where I found the recipe, but the blog I read is no longer there.  The recipe I use substitutes strong, hot coffee for the boiling water.  It is gooey and wonderful.  Like the Cream Cheese cake you'll only want a little slice.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Four Months Old ?!

Four months has gone in the blink of an eye!  And a few seemingly endless nights.  Yes, only a few.

Life is settling into a new normal.  We're managing school pretty easily.  I'm making dinner.  Laundry is getting done regularly--very regularly with six of us.  The sweet little baby is giving the sweetest, whole face lighting, smiles.

I am so very glad to have this little girl.  I never felt like Nate was the last of the children, so I'm grateful that God saw things that way too and sent us this child.

I can't believe how much bigger she is now than she was.  As I was drying her off after a bath this week, I was stunned by just how much she's grown since we brought her home.  It's hard to see it in the every day, but in that moment I noticed the stark difference.

Miss Elliana has all the cute little baby rolls, a dimple in her cheek, and her eyes are a grey.  The other girls' eyes turned brown later, so she may follow them.  She has long fingers and toes.  She has a cute little laugh that we hear when she's awake now too.  She used to only laugh in her sleep.  We are nearly inseparable--we've been out from under the same roof less than two hours total since she was born.

I love my sweet little Ellie Bellie.  Nate, who I was the most concerned about, has become a wonderful big brother.  It makes my heart swell to see him with her--whether it is because I always wanted a big brother or because he is especially good to her, after I feared the worst, I'm not sure.  He calls her Bean or Elliana--no one else calls her Elliana, so it is extra fun to hear from him.  Gabby swooped in as a mother, as I had suspected she would.  Kate likes to be in charge of the baby or tell us everything the baby does.  It is as though being with her makes them even more of who they are.  And Justin, who always claims he doesn't like babies, is in love with yet another little one, who he thinks is one of the cutest babies ever.

 We love you Ellie!

Friday, January 24, 2014


So, I've not been keeping up on the blog, but I want to keep up with what we've been up to, so here's trying to restart it!

The big girls and I started back to school in late November.  I had big plans to have the girls continue their math and read lots of library books while we were 'off.'  Instead we actually stayed off.  We enjoyed the littlest member of our family.  It was better than my plans.  Now we're fully submerged in fractions, Catherine the Great, and states of matter, after a bout of step throat for Gabby and a stomach bug for the middle two kids.

I've been tagging out grown little boy clothes for a consignment sale.  Little Ellie out grew her 3 month clothes, so they are up next.

We took the crew to a movie night at our church on Sunday evening.  The kids were tickled pink to wear their PJs and hang out with their friends.

We're getting ready to start back into ballet and possibly pick up a drama class/performance this spring.  Life is getting ready to get super busy!

I'm trying to soak up all the little baby sighs, grins, batted eye lashes, and giggles I can, but maybe I'll make to check in here more often now that the little Miss is getting a bit older, though no less cute.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Funny

Nate was wearing a shirt said, "Busted."

Justin: So you're busted, huh?

Nate: No!

Justin: Do you know what busted means?

Nate: No.

Justin: What if it means you get three pieces of cake after dinner every night?  Wouldn't you want to be busted then?

Nate: No!

Justin: Why not?

Nate: Because then I would get sick!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Funny

Because Gabby got the game Trouble...

Since you get into Trouble, you should play Sorry.