Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lots of love for Valentine's!

Valentine's was really fun this year. All three kiddos were really into it...they began making Valentine's cards for us before February even arrived. Nathanael asked me what the Valentine's songs were...assuming that like Christmas, Valentine's Day should have songs too. :)

We hosted a small Valentine's Day party for some close friends...so here the kids are assembling and writing their valentines for their friends.

And getting a bit carried away by the stickers!

After they went to bed, my Mom and I got as much set up for the party as we could.

We also have a tradition of a special Valentine's breakfast...so this is what the children woke up to:
followed by donuts and scrambled eggs for breakfast!

a little V-day decor...

I love this picture of Hadleigh and my mom after Hadleigh gave Mimi the valentine she crafted QUITE some time ago and saved until the "big day".

Mimi found these adorable mice all decked out in pink and red. The kids loved them.

Madeleine originally named hers Angelina, which was shortly thereafter changed to Cinderellie. Hmmm. Cutest mice I've ever seen...and the only ones I want in my house!

A little lunch...

Followed by yummy red velvet cupcakes. (Cupcake liners from Hobby Lobby...so fun.) The party was a fun success...they played outside, the girls made necklaces similar to this and the boys painted wooden jointed snakes, you know the kind that moves kinda realistically? (also from Hobby Lobby...Nathanael's choice, FYI.)

It was a fun day...though we missed Brent a lot...who was in Las Vegas for work. But he sent flowers :) and a fun present for my camera! (More on that soon.) And it was very special to have Mimi with us!

Hope you had a wonderful day too!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Snow Day and Breakfast

We went to sleep last night with the wind blowing sparkling bits of snow through the air. Seriously, the snow glinted like the finest flecks of glass glitter. It was beautiful and oh-so-magical. I stayed up to journal and watch the snow by the fading fire. A perfect late evening for this night-owl.
This morning, we awoke to find drifts taller than Madeleine in front of our house. It was *almost* what Hadleigh had wished for last night...she wanted snow "taller than my head or at least taller than Madeleine."
The kiddos immediately began to dig caves into the drifts. Hadleigh made the most progress...with Brent helping to make it more of a fort.

(You may notice that while we have tall drifts, the snow on our lawn was about an inch tops in some places...deep in others.)

Here's the close up...it never ceases to amaze me how long children can handle the cold temperatures. I was freezing just taking pictures...without even touching the snow!

And a perfect warm breakfast for a wintry snowy day?

Baked Oatmeal. It is so so so so so so yummy. I found the recipe here, at Becky Bakes. I tweaked it ever so slightly...added more bananas, really. I love carmelized bananas. The more the merrier, I say.
(Sorry for the slight messy picture. I may or may not have taken a few itty bitty bites before snapping the picture.) Below is what it looks like in the pan. Mmmm...

It also keeps well...for the three mornings that it lasted!

Baked Oatmeal with Pumpkin and Bananas

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Caramelized Bananas:

  • 3 medium bananas
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. butter (we used a substitute)

1. Place steel-cut oats and butter in a large bowl. Bring water to a boil and pour over the oats and butter. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together pumpkin, milk, and vanilla.

2. Melt butter in saute pan. Slice bananas and toss gently with brown sugar and cinnamon. Saute quickly and gently over medium high heat (60-90 seconds). You don’t want to have soggy bananas. Pour into a 9-inch baking dish.

3. After 20 minutes, stir in the old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin mixture. Pour oats over bananas. Sprinkle with more cinnamon and brown sugar.

4. Bake at 350 degrees 35-40 minutes, until the center is set.

5. Serve warm with milk or cream, if desired. A dollop of whipped cream might be nice. (And I couldn't help but think of adding vanilla ice cream. But that would be dessert, wouldn't it?)


Monday, February 07, 2011


we couldn't be happier about the results of last night's game. Woohoo! Go Packers!

We had friends over for chili and appetizers and yummy cookies. (Good thing we didn't have any Steeler fans! They might not have gotten dessert!)

And for the record, my favorite commercial was the VW Dearth Vader. It was a hit with the whole family, especially considering Nathanael's slight obsession with all things Star Wars. But that's another topic for another day.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Plain Jane Scones

Yesterday was a perfectly wonderful snow day. Brent didn't have to go to work...we didn't do school, and we ate yummy food all day long. The kids played outside for just a brief few minutes (due to the subzero windchill), and we enjoyed a fire almost all day long.

My favorite moment by far though, was our fireside late afternoon tea party. All five of us. With my special tea set.
You know, it doesn't take hours of planning to make a special moment happen. Often, the most memorable aren't planned and require little fanfare. A half hour to make scones, pretty dishes that sit ready on a shelf, and a tablecloth (that rarely gets used) make for a special afternoon. A special memory you'll cherish.

And being asked the next day for tea in front of the fire? Then you know it was special to them too.

(Brent captured this video of our impromptu tea party...I think it's fun, though it's a bit dark! My favorite part is what Hadleigh says at the end. And in case you wonder, I'm wearing a hat inside because it was the only way I could stay warm all day long!)

I used a new scone recipe a friend shared with me. I've nicknamed them "Plain Jane Scones" but they are anything but Plain Jane. They are ever so slightly sweet, and with no additional "mix-ins", they are perfectly primed for scone toppings...I used a lovely jar of lemon curd from a new-to-me company (hint: giveaway coming up!) and homemade "Mock Devonshire Cream" to make these scones extra special.

(And Nathanael, would have eaten the lemon curd and cream from the spoon if I hadn't caught him in time!)
Plain Jane Scones

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. whipping cream

1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add whipping cream combine until moistened. Knead dough 4-5 times.
2. Divide dough in half and press into two 6-inch rounds on waxed paper. Cut each round into 8 wedges (or 12, if you prefer smaller scones). Place each scone on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Place on rack to cool.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!!!

Mock Devonshire Cream

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup whipping cream

1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together with a blender until smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

(I doubled the recipe so we'd have plenty...it keeps well refrigerated for several days. You can often find the real stuff in fine grocery stores...and Mascarpone cheese makes a pretty good substitute as well.)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Hello February


The kiddos are excited about valentines day...so I'm gathering up some projects for us to enjoy together. (love the one above!)


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