Thankful

Last week we got to spend the week in Destin.  It was amazing, relaxing, beautiful, peaceful and I kind of wish I was still there.  I have been struggling the last couple days getting motivated.  Maybe it was all the relaxing on the beach with not a worry in the world.  I have several things I could be doing right now, but I decided to sit and read while the girls were sleeping.  I heard the mailman come by, and she delivered CD of all of our pictures from our AMAZING photographer Stephany.  Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked at them.  I am so thankful for my sweet husband and beautiful girls.  They are all truly gifts from God.  

Our family of five.  In about 2 weeks the twins will turn TWO.  I can’t believe how fast those years have gone by already.  We have truly enjoyed every minute with them – they are a joy even through all of their sickness last year!
My sweet Brooke. I have been disappointed with myself for how easily frustrated I get with her.  Her new favorite word is “why” and she has recently started the complaining stage.  Still no reason for me to be so frustrated with her – I am trying to be loving and patient with her!  I am so thankful for her – she is such a help with the girls, and she often just comes up and gives me hugs and tells me she loves me.  She really is a sweetheart.
These two girls just melt my heart.  They are SWEET babies.  I am so blessed to have such well-behaved and happy girls.  It has made the often difficult baby phase so enjoyable for us.  I love the relationship they have with each other, and can’t wait to see how it develops as they grow older.
I’m so thankful for this man!  He is such an example to me.  So loving, selfless, patient and forgiving.  I’m so thankful for a sweet husband and daddy who knows how to love his family!

Sometimes I feel like all I am doing is cleaning, cooking, laundry, changing diapers, sweeping food off the floor, saying “no” and performing mundane tasks.  Then I look at this picture of my three blessings and realize that I am serving my family.  My attitude while serving directly affects them.  I want to be a sweet mom who looks to Christ for strength, love and patience.  I just want to share a little encouragement from the book I was reading this afternoon:

“I thought parenting was going to portray my strengths, never realizing that God had ordained it to reveal my weakness.” Dave Harvey
“Our weakness is the place where we learn to depend on his power.  When we are stripped of everything that we thought we could trust in, when we’re absolutely desperate for help, the Lord moves into our circumstance and demonstrates his power. Sometimes he shows us his power by changing the circumstance, miraculously accomplishing what we could never accomplish.  At other times he shows us how his sustaining grace enables us to endure situations that otherwise would crush us.  Sometimes he makes us feel his strengthening arm upholding us in the trial.  At other times he teaches us to walk by faith, believing that his arm is there even though we don’t feel it.  It is in these varied circumstances that we learn of his greatness, his sustaining grace, and his ability to glorify himself in ways we would have never imagined.”  “Give Them Grace” by Fitzpatrick & Thompson

Homemade Ice Cream

Landon surprised me by getting me the ice cream attachment for my kitchen-aid last week!  I have been asking for one for over a year, so I was EXTREMELY excited to try it out.  Thank you honey! The bowl went into the freezer, and I was making ice cream the next day.  Over the last week I have made ice cream 4 times…thankfully the bowl only makes 1 quart.  

The first one I tried was strawberry since I had some very ripe strawberries on hand.  I found this recipe for Creamy Dreamy Strawberry Ice Cream over at Annie’s Eats.  It was delicious and very easy to make!

I ordered the book The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz – he has some of the best recipes.  I used his chocolate recipe to make this Rocky Road Ice Cream (Landon’s favorite).

We made ice cream at Liz’s house Sunday, and we used her Mint Chocolate Chip recipe – you can find it here, at allrecipes.  It smelled and tasted delicious!  I love anything with mini chocolate chips in it!
I can’t wait to try some gelato and frozen yogurt recipes!  Yay for ice cream!

Our First Surgery

Here we are all “dressed up” and ready for our procedure.  Mommy & Daddy woke us up at 5:15 a.m.   We normally sleep until 9…so we were pretty tired.
The medicine they gave us to calm down before the took us back made us REALLY HAPPY.  :O)

All the nurses loved us and told daddy and mommy that we did a great job!  We even got little teddy bears to take home with us.  We had a lot of infection back in our ears, even after 3 rounds of antibiotics, and large adenoids.  We hope this is the road to better health for both of us!

I’m Lily!  I was tested for my hearing and speech a few weeks ago and didn’t do so well.  My comprehension level was above the two year level, but my speech skills are at the level of a 13 month old.  I’m not worried though – since my surgery, I am already trying to say words and repeat the words my mommy says.  I just felt like I was wearing earmuffs all the time!  I will bounce back quickly and I even have my own speech therapist to help me!  :O)
I’m Lauren!  I can say a few more words than my sister, but I am excited to be able to hear more clearly!   My favorite word is “shoe”.  You should hear the way I say “Lily”.  It’s pretty cute.  :O)
Thank you for all your prayers!  We appreciate all the love you have shown our family!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

I saw this Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast cake on pinterest a few days ago and decided I needed to make it ASAP.  I had the perfect opportunity while making dinner today for one of my favorite friends who is under the weather.  Chili, cornbread and breakfast cake.  Great combination, huh?  My favorite part of leaving her dinner was plugging my crockpot in on her front porch to keep the chili warm.  Classy…

Try it soon!  It’s a super quick and easy recipe, and it smells delightful! 

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (i used salted and cut the salt to 3/4 t.)
 zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries (i used frozen blueberries, thawed)
½ cup buttermilk
* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** The 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 350.  Cream butter, 7/8 of the sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  Toss the blueberries in 1/4 cup of flour.  Whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the batter alternating with the buttermilk.  Fold in the blueberries.  This batter is THICK!  

Grease a 9 inch square pan with non-stick spray.  Spread into the pan and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  ENJOY!