Monday, November 24, 2008

Thirteen Months and Twelve Days

It's hard to believe I've been holding this little girl for that long! I had forgotten how very much I enjoy the time between age one and two!

Right now, she's really wanting to walk but just not there yet. So she's crawling everywhere or cruising around on everything, but she especially loves holding onto my leg, particularly if I'm trying to cook or wash dishes! Definitely a challenge, but I love feeling that little hand on my knee!

She tries to keep up with her big sister and brother in the talking department...her words include "Daa-dee" (my favorite!), "Ha-dee" (Hadleigh), "Buh" (for Buddy), "Boh" (book), "No" (for no and nose), "Hiiiiiii!", "Maa-mee", "Uh-oh" (with the cutest expression when she drops something), "ba-bee" (for any doll or stuffed animall) and "sue" (shoe).

She loves to point out her belly-button, head, and nose. She adores shoes...and will hand them to me to put them on her. This is a first for me...the other kiddos always hated putting on shoes. She loves to hug her animals and dolls. She wants to be a part of anything Hadleigh and Nathanael are doing. She can tell when she's not getting the same food as the rest of the family (typically dessert-stuff) and lets us know that she doesn't think that's quite fair :)

She loves to blow kisses to say goodnight, and lately, she has been giving "real" hugs too!

Nathanael has a new nickname for her...we're not really sure where it came from, but we think it's adorable when he says it! "Wiggly-bubbles." Interesting, huh? To the rest of us, she's still Ladybug, Maddie Beth, and Brent calls her "Little Bits".

She is such a blessing...

That's about it for today...gotta go check the oven. We're having a Thanksgiving Dinner tonight with Brent's squadron in about a half hour...I'm making Sweet Potato Casserole, a Pumpkin Spice Cake (that's very similar to Sweet Potato Casserole!), and some stuffing. The house smells yummy!

Have a great afternoon!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Those are my little pilgrims! Aren't they cute? And while I know I should have made the buckle on the pilgrim hat larger, Hadleigh is a third-generation pilgrim in that dress. My Great-Aunt Pearl made the dress for my Mom when she was little; I wore it as a child, and it was so special to see Hadleigh excited about receiving it in the mail from her Mimi! (How special handmade things are when they are passed through generations! This is such a treasure to have.)

Today at Chapel School (a parent-led and taught weekly preschool program we're a part of) we had our Thanksgiving Feast. After a lesson about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving meal, the kiddos made sweet potato biscuits (so yummy!) and Oreo Turkeys during their cooking lesson and then during art, they made these precious turkey-handprint signs (they added ribbon to the top to hang them up):

After that, we celebrated with a small "feast" that was yummy (according to the mothers--we had a few picky eaters, mine included!) Normally, we also have a Bible lesson, Phonics, Math, Recess, Show and Tell, and Reading Time...but today was "Party Day"!

I am really thankful for this special group of five mothers and the eleven children that make up Chapel School. Our children look forward to it weekly and are learning so much, and I must admit that the "adult" time spent with like-minded mothers is so refreshing to me.

I have been so busy trying to manage my to-do list, much less actually crossing something off of it...which explains my lack of blogging, but I have lots of upcoming projects in the works to share surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas! So don't give up on me :)

And here's a recipe that you can bet will be served on my Thanksgiving table next week. It's a family favorite of a special family friend, and it is the one recipe that I always hope will have plenty of leftovers, so I usually double it :) Enjoy! And tell me what recipe YOUR Thanksgiving Day isn't complete without!

Sweet Potato Casserole

1 large can sweet potatoes, juice reserved
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine potato, 1/2 stick butter, egg, vanilla, and sugar with mixer. Add enough of the juice from the can of potatoes to make the mixture creamy. Spread into casserole dish.

2. In a small bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar, butter, and flour. Spoon over potato mixture.

3. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

I have really been enjoying this autumn. It is my very favorite season, and it's been so nice to actually enjoy seeing leaves change color, after four years of very little fall color.

Here's a picture of one of the trees we recently planted. We've had a windy week and most of the leaves are gone now...but this is what we enjoyed all last week and this past weekend:

Things I'm loving right now:

  • enjoying my usual Pumpkin Spice Lattes (and Starbucks new Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate...if you haven't tried it yet, you need to!).
  • the way Nathanael loves to search for pumpkins while we drive...and the way he pronounces pumpkin melts this mommy's heart! "Puh-kin." (It's so cute since most of his words are articulately correct. example: The other day he said perfectly in true "Charlotte" style, "Salutations, Mommy.")
  • making comfort food. Homemade macaroni and cheese. Casseroles. Pot pies.
  • enjoying cool mornings and nights with warm-in-the-sunshine afternoons.
  • watching my children for the first time ever romp outside in piles of leaves. and walking underneath them when they fall.

In honor of this favorite season of mine, I thought I'd share a recipe that I make at least once each autumn. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. They are SO very good. Now before you make this, you should know that you need every muffin tin you own and maybe one of your neighbors. It makes a ton. (I already halved the recipe and I get between 3 and 4 dozen muffins. If for some reason you need 8 dozen, just double my amounts.) And if you want to make them less sweet, you can always substitute raisins or your favorite nut for the chocolate chips. And they freeze well too!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
½ Tbsp. plus ¼ Tbsp. baking soda
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups canned pumpkin
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. plus ¼ tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup warm water
1 ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins.

2. Beat together oil, brown sugar, and sugar. While mixing, add in eggs. Dissolve baking soda in half the amount of 1/3 cup water. Add to sugar mixture.

3. Slowly add flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon until fully mixed. Then add ½ cup warm water and mix.

4. Stir in chocolate chips and pour batter into muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes.


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