Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mohawk and Muffins

Kidlet Three got a mohawk. This is a really goofy picture isn't it!
His 12-year-old baseball buddies decided mohawks would be a
great idea as they traveled to a national baseball tournament recently. 
All of the boys were buzzed except for one boy.  I think that boy
that said no has guts.  It is truly a sight to see these buzzed-boys
running around the baseball field.
Growing out this hair will definitely be interesting....

Muffins.  I've been on a muffin-baking kick lately.  Probably because a
co-worker has the best recipe that I've made over and over.  This recipe
makes at least 28 muffins so my freezer is full of nummy blueberry and
raspberry muffins.  And, this is a fail-safe recipe, unlike the
oatmeal cookie recipe I have to tackle again soon. 

Sour Cream Muffins
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 t. salt
4 well beaten eggs
1 1/2 cup light sour cream
1 t. soda
2 3/4 cups flour

Mix butter, sugar, and salt until light, with mixer. Add eggs, sour cream, soda and flour.
Mix well.  I didn't use the lowfat sour cream in my last batch.  But honestly, you can't tell a difference in the taste.  The batch with lowfat versus the batch with full-fat (did I just make up a word??) sour cream taste the same to me...delicious!
Pour into greased muffin tins or paper cup liners.
Sprinkle with nutmeg and sugar (there were no measurements for this in the original recipe.)  I "eyeball" this because I like nutmeg so I don't mind if I get a stronger taste from it.

Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Recipe says it makes 20 muffins.  My muffin tins stretch it to 28.
For a different twist, add fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries,
dried cranberries or my favorite.....chocolate chips! 
This batch is a healthier version since I added raspberries.
Or at least that is what I tell myself because they have fruit
in them!
These muffins freeze well so I always keep a batch on hand.
Make up a batch of these nummy treats and let me know what you added!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Name The Photo Game

Name this photo! 

Leave a comment and in a future post I'll show you the "rest of the story"...

Saturday, June 19, 2010


In the Bible, specifically the New International Version, there are 137 verses that have the word tongue in it. 

My worst enemy is mentioned 137 times.

How can it be that one verse talks about the tongue giving praise to God and the next verse states this:

but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

That one part of my body that is needed to speak and eat, the part that I can make a joyful noise unto the Lord, also is a weapon of massive destruction.

Within the past couple of months I have been the victim of gossip.   The gossip came back around and I was told of the gossip spoken about me.  Wow, does that hurt.  The tongues of some people in my life brought pain and hurt instead of life and encouragement.

It has taken me some time to choose to forgive.  And I have done that...I have spoken out forgiveness in prayer.  I am not about to walk up to them and say "Hey, I heard what you said about me and I forgive you."  No, I am choosing to forgive in my heart, mind and soul and move on.  My emotions will eventually catch up because the sting is actually still with me.  But I am wanting to move on.

What is more important, however, is the lesson that I learned...again. 

That lesson is that:  Gossip hurts. 

And I have done that to people.  I have spoken unkind and hurtful words about people.  Gossip has come out of my mouth and I am not proud of that at all.  In fact is sickens me.  Yet, I do it again and again.  

All by myself, I cannot control my tongue.  I know this because I continue to fail at taming that beast!  Earlier this year, God kept bringing the words strength and courage to me.  Those are two very important and powerful words.  Everytime I turned around I would hear someone mention those words, or I would see them written, I would have a dream with those words in them, or hear even something on the radio or TV pertaining to those words.  After seeing those words repeatedly I knew they were words God wanted me to pay attention too and to apply them in my life.

I need God's strength to quit being a gossip.  I need God's courage to step up and say "" when my tongue is tempted to spread unkind words or to repeat other gossip.

It is a war and it starts in my heart.  I don't want my tongue to be the victor in evil.  My prayer is that my tongue will be an instrument of praise and encouragement.

Lord, thank you for my tongue.  Please forgive me for the gossip I've done.  Cleanse my heart and make me new again.  Give me the courage to stop the gossip cycle.  I ask for Your strength.  In Jesus's name.  Amen.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Me versus the Oatmeal Cookie

First, it is June.  The month that summer is to begin.  It has rained more than
half of the month already!  Very atypical weather...but it isn't weather I wanted
to talk about today.

I've had this hunger for the most scrumptious Oatmeal Raisin cookies
that a man at work made several years ago.  These cookies are a little
spicy and the chewy/crunchy type of cookie that I love.  When he
brought the cookies to work I asked for the recipe and Mr. Co-Worker
typed it up for me in an email.  But then no one in my family is crazy for
raisins so I didn't make the recipe until about a month ago.

And they flopped...oh boy..did they flop. 

Whoever invented parchment paper for cookie sheets should get a
Nobel Peace Prize!   Thankfully I am a firm believer/user in parchment
paper so when my first batch of Nummy Oatmeal Raisin cookies all
melted/baked together into one big hard mess...I could pick up the
parchment paper and throw it into the garbage. 

For about 30 seconds I thought about blogging about that
Night-of-Cookie-Horror but I was too embarrassed.  See, when I
re-read the recipe, I realized there was no flour.  The recipe didn't
have it listed but I had set the flour canister out on my cupboard in
preparation of using it.  What cookie doesn't have flour in it?  I
threw some flour in the remaining batter and those cookies turned
out okay.

Back at work the next day, I asked Mr. Cookie-Recipe-Man if
his cookies truly didn't have any flour in them and he looked at me as
if I'd been born on the moon.  He affirmed the fact there should be
flour but then he looked at the printed copy of the recipe I handed
him.  He looked at me in horror and I looked back at him embarrassed.
It was really embarrassing when he said "you didn't try baking these
without flour, did you....."

The first pan I did....and what a mess it made!!

I got an updated copy of the recipe that day.  A copy right from
the cookbook. 

Today, on this rainy-day-off-from-work, I decided to make the
cookies again.  After all, I had the original recipe now! 

Super-Awesome Chewy Oatmeal Crasin Cookies (from the
Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

The recipe states to stir this by hand with a wooden spoon until pale yellow and very light.  I used my Kitchen Aid and I forgot to add the brown sugar in this picture.  Actually, it was after I added the eggs that I remembered the brown sugar.  I wasn't off to the greatest start on this recipe again!
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
Beat until fluffy
Stir in 2 1/4 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats).
Now the spices are to be added.  And here is where I really regressed and my cookies had no chance of turning out at all "awesome" as in the name.  I opened my spice cupboard and in the middle of cookie-making, decided to clean the cupboard.  Oh yes, I was easily distracted today and the butter/sugar/egg mixture sat in my mixer getting warmer and warmer next to the preheated oven.  Silly me!  But, here is a picture of my cleaned up cupboard.  Every spice container was wiped off and the whole cupboard was emptied and wiped out.

Back to the recipe:
In a separate bowl, whisk together
1 1/4 cup flour (see note below)
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. ground cloves

Fold the dry ingredients into the oatmeal mixture using a rubber spatula (I used the mixer).  Add 1 cup craisins or raisins.

Place dough in heaping tablespoons on parchment paper. 
I left the raisins out of this batch.  The men in my family begged me not to so I gave

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes.  Actually, I have dark cookie sheets so I pulled mine out at 13 minutes of baking.  The author of the recipe states that the most common mistake when baking these cookies is to take them out of the oven too late and they get crisp.

Well, I am 1 for 1.  My first pan of cookies didn't melt together but they were flat.  Not chewy but crispy.  I stirred in more flour to bake the rest of the dough.

Note: I realize I did not stay focused while making this batch.  I also realize I used my mixer instead of hand stirring as the recipe states.  I still think the recipe needs more flour than what it calls for.  Be mindful of this if you decide to tackle this recipe. 

Here is the finished product.  And they aren't bad.
On another day, I will try this recipe again.
And I'll follow the directions and not get distracted
Did I just hear someone laugh.....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Riley Posts Today

Hi, my name is Riley
I live with So Amazed, Kidlet Three and The Husband.
Really, I belong to Kidlet One but when she went to college,
she couldn't take me along.  After graduating and getting a job,
her apartment landlord said I couldn't stay there.
So, I live in the Home City.

Today is a rainy day and for some reason
Kidlet Three decided I needed a bath.
I tried to hide.  When I heard the
bathtub water running, really truly
I tried to hide by So Amazed.  For
some reason everyone in the house thought
that was funny.  Kidlet Three took off my
collar and carried me, even though I squirmed
as much as I could, into the warm water.
I guess I really don't mind getting a bath.
The whole process goes fairly quickly and that
water is just right--not too hot and not too cold.
Kidlet Three pours the water over my head and tries
to keep it from going into my ears.

I appreciate that very much!

This is not the best picture of me.  I begged and begged
for this one to not be included, but it does show how
gentle Kidlet Three is with me.  I had heard that
"puppy dog eyes" could make people "give in" and
change what they were doing but in this case, it didn't work.

After a quick shampoo and very thorough rinse,
Kidlet Three is ready to get me out of the tub.
He starts by toweling off my head...
And then he wraps me in a towel and tries getting me dried off.
I really don't like this part and would prefer....shaking.
The minute I finally get out of his arms, I shake, shake, shake
and oh boy, that feels great!  And then I
usually run.  Anywhere I can go, I run to let that
air flow through my freshly cleaned fur
Here is one final shake before I start playing fetch with
Kidlet Three.  So Amazed is usually disinfecting
the bathtub so doesn't get to play fetch with me.
Well, that was the excitement in the house today.
The next time you walk or run by my house, I'll be
the one barking my fool-little-head-off in the
front window or along the fence outside.  People
say they can hear me pretty good..that I have a
very distinctive bark.
Thanks for stopping by!

Signed, Riley

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Random Thoughts

I'm in a purely random mood.
Don't expect much "meat"' in this posting.
Father-in-law has been in a nursing home
for rehabilitation.  He can walk with a
walker, is learning to chew and swallow
without choking and has regained some
strength.  That is the good news.

Monday he was told he can no longer
drive.  That is very sad for him.  Tuesday
he was told he has progressed probably
as far as he ever will so he needs to leave
the nursing home and move from his
independent an assisted living
situation.  The Husband has been on the
phone nonstop looking for a place because
Thursday (tomorrow) is the discharge day.

We have seen God's hand in this whole thing.
A wonderful room opened up in a nice
facility.  I worked a full day at my job today and
then met The Husband and The Siblings at the old
apartment.  As much furniture as we guessed
might fit in this new location was loaded into
pickup trucks and brought to the New Location.
Amazing doesn't describe the fact that all of what
we brought, fit!  Grandpa and his walker should be
able to navigate just fine.

Then we all went for a quick pizza and I headed
back to the Old Apartment to pack up the kitchen.
Tomorrow is another full day of work so my efforts
at packing are limited.

By the way, Kidlet Three's baseball team is 17-5
for the year.  That is amazing!  Last weekend they
won the Tournament For Our City which is always
very sweet.  After five baseball games this weekend
we then headed North to the Big City on Monday
night.  That is about an hour's drive.  That game of
baseball was also won.  Tuesday night, was that
just last seems longer ago than 24 hours...they
played another game here in town.  That game was
won as well.  Thursday night is the last game for
the week and they weekend is free except for a
Sunday night practice.

That is all in preparation for the
National Tournament in Omaha, Nebraska
next week.  We will be traveling to the
Big Red state to play some serious baseball!
The college World Series games will be starting
that same weekend so we are hoping to catch
a college game as well.  Kidlet One and
Son-in-Law will be traveling with us.

Hey, Kidlet Two got a second job.  Oh he is
finally going to be a little more financially
stable.  He has gone through some mighty
lean times but this second job pays really
good and is in an upscale restaurant.  He is
currently a line chef and is looking to move up
to Sous Chef at the first job he is working at.

My feet hurt!  When I sat done to type this
update I realized I really have not just
relax...for quite a few days!  Sitting at the
baseball games is a form of relaxing but
I have to pay attention to the game and can't
really just let go and relax.  But now that
I'm in this recliner chair, I'm really enjoying
this.  And now my little piggies are telling
me that they enjoy being off the ground, too.

 Being with my 88-year-old Father-in-Law brings
back so many memories of my Grandma on
my Dad's side.  She ended up in a nursing home
in My Home City, about 60 miles away.  Grandma
had decided that I was the only one that could
cut her finger and toe nails and get this...pull
her chin hairs.  Unfortunately there tended to be
up to a month or longer when I would get to see
her and her nails were so tough I had to grit my
teeth and really put some pressure into the clipper
to get through those nails.  Sally Hanson nail
products are NOT necessary for the elderly.

What really got me, though, was pulling those
chin hairs.  Her skin was so thin, almost like
tissue paper, and I was sure I was going to see
a whole section of her chin come flying off when
I tweezered those hairs.  Hair growth on elderly
woman is excessive, especially on the chin.  Wow
those hairs would grow back fast.  Once I
threatened Grandma that I wasn't going to pull
them but I was going to make a braid.  She
didn't think that was very funny.

I wonder what funny stories and memories we will
have now with Father-in-Law transitioning into
this new phase of the Circle of Life.

Anyway, that is the news update from this
Amazing Life of Mine.  Purely random news.  I
am contemplating getting out of the chair and making
some Oatmeal Raisin cookies.  If I do, I'll be
sure to post some pictures.  But then, my feet
sure enjoy being up in the air....hmmmm...what to
do.  I sure hope you have an enjoyable,
relaxing, feet-in-the-air evening!


Sunday, June 6, 2010


Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Encouragement is something I think God has gifted me with.
I wouldn't go as far as saying I was a cheerleader.
Nope, I was never a true cheerleader wearing the
uniform and that kind of thing.

If you've been reading with me for awhile, you
may remember the posting about me being an

For some reason, God has felt I could handle being
an encourager.  He allows me to see hurts in people
or He brings people into my life that need encouragement.

Basically, He is setting me up to use His giftings--the
gifts He has given me.  None of this is about me. 
It is all about Him. 

Long ago I realized that in
myself, I have very little to give to this world.  It
wasn't until I saw my sinful self and came to the understanding
that the Creator of All could give me a clean start.  Salvation
and a New Identity with Him as my Lead.

And what an Awesome Life I have with Him.
There is never a boring day!

I see myself as a vessel.  When I choose to
surrender myself to Him, then He fills me with
His Love, Compassion, Encouragement, Hope,
Salvation, Peace, did I say Love?  Then He
pokes holes in my vessel so I can leak Him
to the world around me.

Well, maybe that isn't exactly how God does it
but since I'm a visual person, that is how I
picture Him doing this!

Now the other day I was the one that received
encouragement.  Oh how I was surprised and
speechless.  (I just heard a big gasp...those of
that know me probably can't believe I was
speechless...well, I was)!

For my work, sometimes I walk outside to
go from one building to another.  There is a
church in the downtown of My City and I
walk past this church frequently.  Recently,
someone has used sidewalk chalk and had
written messages on the sidewalk.  It makes
me cry, again, just thinking of the proclamation
and invitation they wrote on the sidewalk.

Take a look:

This last one is faint but it is an invitation
to have a fantastic day!

It was SO encouraging to me to see someone
else in My City invite God, in His many names,
to "come".
Yes, Lord, come!
Yes, Holy Spirit, come!
Yes, Father, come!
Love on us, restore us, renew us, heal us!

Thank you to the person(s) that wrote on the sidewalk.
I was so very encouraged.
And even those of us that are encouragors,
we need encouragement, too.
Praise God!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

At the Lake

So, my friends, ask, what "do you do" at the lake?
When you travel to the North Country, to the town
of your parents (population 107), "what do you do?"

Each visit is different.  Each visit is filled with different "things"
Here is a picture essay of the Memorial Day Quick Run-Away

That pretty much sums it up!
Fishing, relaxing, playing farkle,
fishing, relaxing, eating,
fishing, relaxing, playing baseball,
fishing, relaxing, eating, watching the hummingbirds,
fishing, relaxing, looking at "paw prints" in the sand
fishing, relaxing, decorating waffles with
strawberries and blueberries and calling it
Martha Stewart's Waffles
Yes, that pretty much sums up the fun weekend!