What we have been up to…

3 weeks ago we decided to put our house on the market. Since that day things have been a whirlwind around here. My girls were sick for SEVEN straight weeks after Christmas. The day we decided to start painting the house (to improve the curb appeal…ha ha) all the girls came down with nasty colds after finally being well for 2 weeks. So along with keeping a house clean 24/7 with three cute and crazy girls running/crawling around, we decided to put a weeks worth of energy into scraping, priming and painting the outside of our little home. I definitely had second thoughts about EVERYTHING over that week. Looking at this picture, I’m thankful for a husband (including some family and friends) who worked so hard to improve the look of our house. Landon is the hardest worker I know…he worked 10 hour days, came home and worked on the house until dark, and then did school work until late. I admire him!

I have had a lot of questions about why our house is for sale. NO…we are not moving outside of Oklahoma. We have actually just outgrown this little home and are hoping to sell it and find something that is a better fit. We are praying that it sells! If it does, I will really miss our little home. It is full of sweet memories. We brought each of our girls home here. If we don’t end up selling in the near future, we will be content staying here a little longer. I definitely wouldn’t mind that, but would LOVE a little more space….and a bigger kitchen.
Some more before & after!
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Frozen Strawberry Fluffy Stuff


I just love Paula Deen…and all her yummy buttery recipes. I also love Sam’s club when strawberries are in season. Our fridge is always stocked with fresh strawberries. I wanted to make something “light” and fruity and found this in her chocolate magazine. Hope you enjoy!

Strawberry Frozen Fluffy Stuff
Paula Deen
Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (i didn’t have any so I used toasted pecans)

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tbsp butter, melted

1 (10 oz.) package frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed or fresh strawberries

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

Fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup for garnish (optional)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine flour, hazelnuts, brown sugar and cocoa. Add butter, stir to combine. Spoon mixture into ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool.

In a large bowl combine strawberries, cream, and sugar. Beat a medium-high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Stir in liqueur.

Sprinkle 2/3 of flour mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 10-inch spring form pan. Spoon strawberry mixture over flour mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining flour mixture. Cover and freeze overnight. Slice and garnish with fresh strawberries and drizzle with syrup to serve.

Thin Mints


Here is another homemade girl scout recipe! This recipe is from Baking Bites, the same place the Do-Si-Do recipe came from. I have been so “disciplined” about saying no to those cute little girls selling cookies at Wal-Mart. I just knew if I bought a box of thin mints I would not be able to excercise self control, and eat the entire box before we made it home. So instead, I made an entire batch of cookies. ha ha. I did manage to eat a few before I gave them away. I was eating one when I gave half of it to Landon. He didn’t know I had baked them, and thought they were girl scout cookies. Success! The only change I made to this recipe was the coating. I had some chocolate mint candy discs on hand that I melted to coat these instead.

Homemade Thin Mints

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract

Instructions:
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk and the extracts. Mixture will look curdled. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Slice dough into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick – if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp – and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Coating
10-oz dark or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt on high power in the microwave, stirring every 45-60 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Chocolate should have a consistency somewhere between chocolate syrup and fudge for a thin coating.
Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is cool and firm.

Raisin Bran Muffins





Lately I Have had an obsession with Raisin Bran Cereal. Our grocery store recently had a HUGE sale on Kellog’s cereal so I stocked up! I wanted to make a semi-healthy muffin out of it…so here is the recipe I came up with. Next time I will add more raisins, but other than that I loved the muffin! Brooke is a huge fan so I will be freezing some and hiding them away for breakfast. Hope you enjoy!


Raisin Bran Muffins
Ingredients:

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c sugar
3 T brown sugar
2 1/2 c. raisin bran cereal
1/3 c canola or vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/4 c buttermilk (don’t have any? make our own…so simple…go HERE)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c raisins (optional)
Raw Sugar or White Sugar for sprinkling before baking (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Line a muffin pan with liners, or spray with cooking spray.


In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, soda, salt, sugars and cereal (and extra raisins if using). In a separate bowl stir together oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla.


Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir. Let sit for about 30 minutes to soften the cereal.


Divide batter between 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!






Where have the last 9 months gone?!?



Me with my girls

Getting around TOO fast!

Happy!


Playtime!

“turtle” race!

I am so amazed at how quickly 9 months have gone by! I now have 3 girls that crawl, roll, scoot, and run in all different directions. It is already getting harder to keep up with all 3 of them…I have a feeling that isn’t going to change for a long time. The twins had their 9 month check up last week. They are both in the 3rd and 4th percentile for their weight…which is an improvement. No worries on their heads though. Lily’s noggin is in the 60 something percentile, and Lauren’s is a whopping EIGHTY SIXTH. ha ha. Love it.

We are having such a fun time with the girls. To be honest…there are days when things are very hard and discouraging. Brooke is 2. Landon reminds me of that a lot of times when I get frustrated at her behavior. Although she definitely has her “terrible two” moments, she is a sweetheart and such a big helper. The Lord has blessed us with VERY SWEET babies. Every time I look at them I can’t help but smile. Not to mention that we are spoiled with very happy babies. Lily & Lauren will smile (and wrinkle their nose!) whenever you look their way. All the time and energy spent is worth it when I look at all 3 of those big old heads. I could write a book on everything that God is teaching me about myself through my children. HE is the perfect example of how I should love my children.


I Cor 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love Never Ends.


Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies


Chocolate Chip Cookies with a “surprise” center! I made mine mini stuffed cookies…I used some mini oreos, and mini reese’s cups. I love using things I have on hand. You can use any kind of candy or brownie. I have made these with brownies, reese’s snickers and rolos. They were all good….but then again, what is better than a chocolate chip cookie stuffed with your favorite candy?!? Enjoy!

Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
2 sticks butter, softened
1 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
3 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
bag of mini chocolate chips
Your choice of “stuffing”….oreos, brownies, snickers, reese’s….

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Mix butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, and vanilla until combined.

In another bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add to the wet ingredients until combined. Add the chips. Use a cookie scoop (use a smaller one for bite sized candy and a larger one for big oreos) to scoop out equal amount sof dough. Place the “goodie” in the middle of two scoops and seal the edges together by working it with yoru hands. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat liner. Bake 8-11 minutes! Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack.

ENJOY!