How to Induce a Sugar Coma

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe that I think you really must try--which is amazing, because there for a while it was feeling a bit like all I was doing was posting recipes. Which I was. Only posting recipes. DH was asked to bring "bars" to our church's annual meeting on Sunday--which truly proves that we are "Lutrans" as they say around here, because a church meeting isn't actually a full fledged meeting with out bars. Or coffee.
Anywhoo, I often times keep the good old "boxes" of brownie mix on hand for such occasions--but when I went the pantry, there were no boxes of brownie mix only 7 boxes of yellow cake mix. And one white. And I really wanted to make brownies. So, I pulled out a cook book and started flipping through...page 146. Bingo. A recipe that I wanted to try. And I did. And those brownies? A little piece of heaven. Which I suppose is appropriate considering they were headed for a church meeting.

Because I think that you really should try these, I am passing this recipe on. I will warn you, it's a bit more work than just opening a box. Okay, a lot more work than just opening a box. But so worth it. And you might want to be certain that you have some place to take these or are having folks over. Because it makes a lot and I can't be held responsible for my readers consuming the entire pan. In one setting.

Buttermilk Brownies
Sift together:
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
2 c. flour

Bring to boil:
1 stick butter
1 c. cold water
1/2 c. oil
Once it has come to a boil, pour over dry ingredients and beat until creamy.

1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. soda

Beat thoroughly. Bake in large, greased cookie sheet for 18 minutes at 400 degrees. (This is actually a huge amount of batter. I used a sheet pan and it was perfect.)

1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 1/4 c. powdered sugar (use own judgement)
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/3 c. buttermilk
Bring butter, cocoa and buttermilk to boil. Add sugar and vanilla; mix well. Stir in chopped nuts, if desired. Pinch of salt can be added to each.

From "Favorites at Flora Lynne's: A Collection of Recipes", pg. 146.



Drop in the Bucket

Since the first of the year, Princess Pigtail's preschool class has been talking about the concept of love buckets. The idea is that each of us carries an "emotional" bucket. When some one is kind to us or shows us compassion, they help fill our bucket. When someone is rude or uses unkind words, they empty our bucket. The preschool class has made buckets too illustrate the point and use this language when discussing their interactions with one another. This terminology has also made it's way to our home.
I love this concept because it is such an easy way for preschoolers to learn that their actions affect others. That what they say and do is a part of those around them. If only us adults could keep this top of mind how much more we could accomplish! Shortly after "buckets" were introduced at school, the kiddos and I were pulling into the garage here at home. I had stopped at the end of the drive way and got the mail, so in addition to helping Princess Pigtails with her backpack and wrestling both her and The Little Man out of their respective car seats, I had my purse and the mail to contend with as well. Anywhoo, as I shut the truck off, Princess Pigtails said "Mama, you could just put the mail in my backpack. Then you wouldn't have so many things to carry." I told her that I thought that was a great idea and thanked her for being so thoughtful. She smiled and said "You're welcome. I just filled your bucket." I laughed and agreed that yes she had filled my bucket. It was such a sweet exchange. My heart just melted right there.
So this past Monday, Princess Pigtail's class learned the Bible story of Joseph.
Me: "So, tell me about Joseph. What did you learn?"
PP: "Well, he had a fancy coat."
Me: "He sure did. What else did you learn?"
PP: "Umm...his brothers pushed him in a hole."
Me: "You're right. His brothers were not very kind to him."
PP: "Yeah. They emptied his bucket."

(They sure did alright. Plotting to kill him. Selling him into slavery. Telling his father that he is dead. That would empty any one's bucket.)

As a mom, I'm always feeling like mine is half full at best. And those around me? Can't say that I'm always that great at filling their buckets either. Snapping words. Barking orders. Gentle nagging. Empty. Empty. Empty. Just keeping it real...the buckets around here could stand to be filled more frequently.

How's your bucket today? What have you done to fill someone else's bucket today?



Can someone explain to me why a roll of foil is so expensive? Is it foil speculations? I literally stood dumb-founded in front of the shelf of foil yesterday at Wal-Mart. Perhaps it's just me but $7.37 for 200 sq. feet of tin foil seems a little ridiculous, right?

Just an observation. Carry on.


The Picture of Health and Wellness, We are.

I just want to crawl in my bed and pull the covers up over my head. Because if the last six days are what 2009 are going to be like for us, I'm not sure I am ready.

I will back up and say that we had great times with our families over Christmas. We nearly missed time with my grandparents due to an ice storm. There was about a three hour span on the Saturday after Christmas that I didn't think the two hour drive from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's house was going to happen due to the ice. To say I was heart broken was an understatement. In light of the health things that have gone on with my Grandma over the last couple of months, I just felt it so important to get down there. I also knew that my grandparents were looking forward to having ALL their grand kids and great-grand kids (there were five new greats in 08!) together and I didn't want to disappoint. I knew they would understand given the weather, but still...We made it and had some sweet moments with my grandparents as a result. I am so glad that God allowed us to get there. Grandma is on the mend, by the way! Thank you for the prayers on her behalf.
We got home and had barely enough time to unpack, pick up a few groceries, stash the Christmas gifts/plunder/groceries and get organized to have a few friends over on New Year's eve. It was craziness getting that all accomplished, but I am so glad we did. What fun we had.

Enter 2009.

Friday morning, the kiddos both woke up with a sniffle. DH reported from work he thought he was coming down with a cold too. I was in denial.
Saturday, we definitively all have colds. And great! woke to the furnace clanking! Not as bad as this time, but not healthy sound for a furnace. In January. In Minnesota. Fantastic! (I have to say I am a little disturbed after looking up that link, to find that the last episode occurred on January 3rd 2008. A year exactly? Bizarre. Do you think I should just go ahead and book the HVAC repair guy for next year? )
Sunday, woke up and definitely still all have colds. And just for variety's sake, I have the stomach flu to go along with mine. Lovely. My darling, darling husband took such good care of me and the kids while I was sick. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Honey. You are amazing.
Sunday night, Princess Pigtails, despite all of the remedies I could come up with, was up practically the entire night coughing. She had 102.7 temp yesterday morning and began complaining in the middle of the night that her ear hurt. I'm sure you can see where this is going.
I called the clinic first thing because as it turned out I already had an appointment scheduled yesterday morning for The Little Man's well child check. So, took them both in. Princess Pigtails has a double ear infection. The doctor's words were "her ears look like hamburger". Great. Her first ear infection and it is a double? That's harsh.
The Little Man? Oh, yeah. He also has an ear infection. He was supposed to be my WELL child. So, antibiotics all around and little Robitussin AC for good measure and we are back on the road to health and wellness.
I forgot to mention that DH had called while we were in route to the clinic to let me know that his "consultation" appointment at the endodonist was resulting in an immediate root canal. Outstanding.
So, I pray we are on the mend now. The kiddos have been on their meds for 24 hours now. My cough is easing up. I'm keeping Princess Pigtails home from dance tonight and going to miss my Bible study. But hopefully tomorrow will be the start of some healthier days for us all.

Here's to hoping that your 2009 is off to a much better start than mine! That 2009 will be a year of HEALTH all the way around and that it will find you feeling blessed beyond measure!