Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Me!

Do you ever notice in family pictures that one person is always missing? It's the cool chick behind the camera! Well, guess what? I have a few pictures of the cool chick.

Dishpan Cookies

My Mom loved these cookies. She enjoyed them so much that she always had some made... and I mean always. Anytime I would come home from school, come home for college, or come home for a visit they would be sitting in a container on the kitchen counter. I have eaten more of these cookies then I can count (and I am not just talking about last night). Now, I am getting requests from friend and family for the cookies so I thought I would share them with you.

Oh ya' - you can almost convince yourself they are healthy if you use the heart healthy oils, baking Splenda, and the corn flakes that are packed with vitamins. ;) You will need a big bowl. This recipe makes 9-12 dozen... enough to share if you feel like it.

Dishpan Cookies - Mom's Favorite
2 Cups of Sugar
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
2 Cups Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
2 TSP Vanilla
4 Cups AP Flour
2 TSP Baking Soda
1 TSP Salt
1 1/2 Cups of Rolled Oats
4 Cups of Corn Flakes
3/4 Cups of Chopped Nuts
1 Package of Chocolate or Butterscotch Chips

Mix well sugar, oil, and eggs in a VERY large bowl. Add sifted flour and dry ingredients. Add oats, corn flakes,nuts, and chips. Mix. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 8 mintues for chewy cookies or 10 minutes for crunchy cookies.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Greta Great

Greta's 6th birthday has been celebrated early this year. Gene flew back to finish his deployment this morning... the morning of Greta's actual birthday. She doesn't seem traumatized by the fact that Gene's departure is over shadowing this special day... probably because she already had her two birthday parties - the friend party, with SIXTEEN of her FRIENDS, and her family party. Plus, we are used to being flexible on holidays. We have had birthdays, anniversary, and even Christmas early or late just so we could all be together.

The friend party, which by the way was supposed to be a pool party but it was rained out, was at the house. We have a rule... if you are having a house party you get to invite the number of kids that you are turning plus your sister and a friend for her. So, normally we wouldn't have had sixteen kids, only eight. The numbers didn't slow us down. The girls made shrinky dink necklaces and danced to Miley Cyrus. It was still a blast and Gene got to be there.

We also had our family party a day early... so Gene could be there. Greta picked Red Robin for her dinner and then we came home and had cake and opened presents. I always bake a homemade cake for the family party. If you have been following this blog you might notice that in my life cake equals love. Greta chose a chocolate fudge cake with fresh strawberries in the layers and decorating the outside. The icing was a chocolate sour cream concoction. If you have never had chocolate sour cream icing you must try it. Think of fudge spread all over a cake. YUM!

Here are a few pictures of Greta's friends screaming, oops, singing Happy Birthday. (note that some girls chose to cover their ears - smart kids) Party on!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's starting again...

Anytime Gene is getting ready to go where the Army sends him I have anxiety. It starts as a little annoying tugging feeling in my stomach and will eventually turn into my ulcers reminding me that they are there and just waiting for their fifteen minutes of fame. I start crying over little things that seem big. It doesn't matter is he is going for a week or for a year. I guess I have deployment PTSD. I start giving myself mental pep talks about how I am a strong women, a good mother, and that I need to be focused and organized. No laziness... only determination and prayers.

Gene and the girls went on a bike ride this afternoon. I sat outside relaxing in the yard watching and waiting for my family to ride up to the house. I could hear Gigi before I saw her. She came around the corner sobbing so hard that I was certain that she had fallen off of her bike. You can tell when your child is crying because she is in pain. She ran up, collapsed on me and sobbed that she didn't want Gene to leave. No scrapes, no blood, no broken bones - just an 8 year old with a broken heart who is in pain. We miss him when he is gone. We will miss him in a few days.

I am a strong woman. I am a good mother. I am focused and organized. Please God, give me strength.

Crafty Crafty... in a good way!

How do I know that I am in a good place?

I start crafting or creating something. Gene has been home on R & R and a few weeks before he started on his trip home I felt the need to create. When all is well I am making things.

I don't know what I will do with half the "things" I make but usually my friends get them. Sometimes I wonder "What do they do with the "things"?" But really, I don't care. Just so they know I am thankful to have them in my life. Friends get me through the lonliness that often accompanies being a military wife. After that, the "things" can go to Goodwill and then someone else can enjoy them.

I found this great blog by Betz White. She has fabulous little sewing projects and great links. I am hooked. I think I check her blog every other day to see if there is another gem posted. Here are a few "things" that came from her inspiration.

If you know of any great blogs that other inventive women have, please share them with me. I have a lot of scraps left over from the totes and I am on a mission to use them. Waste not want not.

I have had this heart patterned material for over a year. I bought it on a whim and it finally found its purpose. I made sixteen of those little change purses as parting gifts for Greta's 6th birthday party. They are so easy and fun. We filled them with gum, stickers, fun flavored lipgloss, and a pen. I hope the girls enjoyed them.

Gene had to help me with the Bucket Tote. My math skills are limited so I needed a bigger brain to help me figure out a pattern. I am not sure its exact purpose but I love the shape. It is different from the giant totes I usually sew for folks.

Oh ya' the most exciting thing is that I have my very own sewing room now. I can't explain how happy I am to have my own little space. I was talking to a friend and fellow Mom about how we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. We don't buy cereal we like and the list goes on. I don't think that is so unusual for Moms but during the deployment I really let things go... including my mind. This little spot just for me, well, it makes me smile.