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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolutions

I've been a bit absent lately, having fun getting ready for Christmas, celebrating, and the past week recovering and enjoying some family time! Hopefully (if I remember) I'll do a nice little recap post in the near future.

For what is probably the first time ever, I think I actually succeeded in my New Years resolutions from last year.

They were not short term, they required me to change my habits, and I think the change is around to stay!

First, I wanted to spend a little more time than I was recording my kids childhood, so I could look back and remember the small things. That's how this blog came about really. I'd had it for a while, but if you check back prior to this year, it was mostly non-existent. And it really has become a habit now to post some of the fun things we do that I will want to remember. I'm looking forward to more blogging and picture taking in 2012.

My second resolution was to get back in shape after I had Elise, and I am proud to say that not only did I lose the baby weight, but 18 more pounds in addition to that! I weight less than I did the day I got married, ran a 5k (and a few longer training runs too), and even came in 1st for my age division (there wasn't much competition, but at least I wasn't last!) I made some changes in the way I eat without "dieting", and have gotten into the habit of exercising several times a week. I feel great, and have plans to run a half marathon next summer.

So fresh off the success of last year, I have some new resolutions this year, while still keeping up with the old.

1. Work out a family exercise plan. I did great last year, but sort of at the expense of everyone else! I know Anthony wants to get in better shape this year, so I want to make it work that we can both get things done (maybe even with the kids) without just not seeing each other every night lol

2. Get this house organized and keep it that way! We've been here 8 months, and there are still some things that I feel don't really have a permanent place. I want to find a place for EVERYTHING, and not just on the top of the fridge or on a shelf somewhere, and get rid of the stuff we don't use. And then PUT EVERYTHING WHERE IT GOES.

I am super organized in my head, but my execution is poor. This year I want to try and actually do it. I figure I have a whole year to work on it, and then it will be done for life. Right? ;)

Happy New Year to everyone! 2011 was such a great year for us. Elise was born, we moved into a bigger house, we found out we are going to have a new little niece or nephew. I'm looking forward to all of the great things I know 2012 will bring!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa

We went to see Santa today. Nathan has been talking about this day for MONTHS, he really loves Santa, and looks forward to the day (or days) once a year that he gets to visit with him for a few minutes.

Usually he is in such awe of the fact that he is actually sitting on Santa's lap that he forgets to smile and stares blankly at the camera. This year, he was ready.

He's been telling us for weeks that he wants a "(some word I can't pronounce) bridge" it sounded a little like a "bending" bridge, so that's what I've been calling it. I came to find out today that he has actually been saying a "suspension" bridge. How on earth does my 4 year old know what a suspension bridge is?

Anyway, he brought along a picture of his suspension bridge (and it really is a suspension bridge, not just some random bridge he is calling a suspension bridge), probably because he was worried that Santa wouldn't quite understand what he was trying to say either.

He climbed right up on his lap and told him he wanted his bridge, and then smiled for the picture. He couldn't have been happier.

Noah knows he gets a gift from Santa, he's not afraid, but a little overwhelmed by the whole experience. Everything just happens so fast, but he did squeak out that he wanted a toy for Christmas <3

And then there was Elise. This was our 5th year going to see Santa, and in 5 years we have never had a crying baby or child...until today.

The poor thing had to get shots this morning, then fell asleep in the car on the way to the mall. I'm sure she was sad and disoriented, and then we threw her on a strangers lap...and walked away from her!

It doesn't help that she is definitely right in that separation anxiety stage, she doesn't like when I am too far away, and definitely is not a fan of people she doesn't know. This was like her worst nightmare all rolled into one. Not to mention the helpers jingling bells in her face and flashing a camera.

It figures our most laid back and generally happy child would be the one to cry for the Santa picture. Noah, who cried at just about everything else always managed to pull it together come Santa picture time. I guess it was bound to happen eventually!
Can you tell where I am standing? Elise would not take her eyes off of me
We then let the boys ride the train, and walked around the mall together for a bit window shopping. Then we ended the trip with lunch. It was a great morning together!

Nathan just said...

Uncle Luke is over and we just finished eating pizza, animal crackers and chips. Nathan asked for a chocolate chip cookie too and I told him he had already eaten a cookie.

He questioned me and I pointed to the animal crackers telling him those were cookies too.

He looked me right in the eyes, scratched his chin and said "what makes you so sure?"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Mion's!


Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Waiting

Those who know me know that I am NOT a patient person. I may appear patient at one time or another, but it takes a lot, and in no way comes to me naturally.

Advent is all about waiting, and being patient. Preparing yourself for Jesus. Not only in the manger, but when he comes again. 

Every year I have these great plans, all of the wonderful things I am going to do to prepare for Jesus during this special time...and then by about day 10 (if I'm lucky) distractions and my lack of patience get the better of me. By the time Christmas gets here I'm filled with regret over what I could have done, and how I wasted that special time.

It's not just a season though. Our longing for Christ doesn't end just because Christmas is here. We're still waiting, and we don't know how long our wait will be. It requires patience past December 25th.

There will be times that I am distracted, or pulled away from my goal, but what's important is that I keep coming back, keep working harder, keep my focus whenever possible on the goal. To be with God in heaven.

He knows my weaknesses, and my strengths. I'm pretty sure those days where I feel like my children are deaf, crazy animals are just times that God wants to help me work just a little bit harder on my patience. At least that is how I am going to try and view it this week.

Dear Lord, help me to be patient with my children, and in waiting for you.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent Calendar

I posted earlier today about the Advent calendar I was going to make for the kids...and about 6 hours later it's done!

Now those were 6 hours also filled with making dinner, putting kids down for naps, changing diapers, feeding babies and all the rest of that normal mom stuff. But still, it felt like it took WAY longer than I thought it would.

I think it turned out really cute!

I had plans to put it on a Melissa and Doug magnet board that the kids have, but it ended up being too big. So it's a refrigerator nativity instead.

Next year I'll get fancy and make number boxes or bags to put each piece in, this year I'm just glad that it's done, even if we are a few days late.

There are 25 pieces, so one for each day in December until Christmas. I'll put all but the first 3 away tonight, and bring out one for the boys to put up every day, but I had to get a picture of it all together first to share!

Thanks to my aunt who sent me some felt, I really only had to buy the white and blue. Including the glue gun and magnets I bought, I spent about $12 on the whole thing. If you already have a glue gun, even purchasing the felt you could probably make it for under $10.

I wish I could say I made some sort of pattern for each of the pieces so it could be replicated, but I really just freehanded the whole thing.


Advent

So I'm more than a little late, but luckily my kids have no idea what the numbers on a calendar mean yet, so I won't get much flack from them.

I've been searching for the perfect Advent calendar for months, yet I didn't find the one that was just right (thanks Lindsey!) or gather up the supplies needed to make it until just now.

So today's project when I get home from ballet later, will be putting this together. And while I'm in a crafty and Advent sort of mood, I might throw together a few of the other ideas I've been collecting as well and we'll start tomorrow.

At least if I do it late this year, I can promise it will all be ready to go on time for next year!

Hopefully I will be back with some pictures!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is it spring yet?

I am going to try not to constantly be a negative person this winter, it not only probably annoys everyone who hears me (except for Nina), but it also contributes to me thinking about things that just put me in a bad mood.

But the first day with real snow seemed like a good time to express my true feelings on winter.

It's not that I hate winter, I think it's sort of pretty, I love snow on Christmas, I like sledding and ice skating and building snowmen. But really, I think all of those things can be taken care of in a couple of weeks time, even a month would be fine. It could snow and snow and snow the whole month of December, look great for Christmas and New Year and then warm up to 65 degrees on January 2nd.

Admit it, it looks pretty at first, it's new and exciting, but March and even April most years I am so so tired of scraping my car window every time I want to go anywhere. Putting all 3 kids into coats, and hats, and mittens, and boots. By the time we are all dressed, everyone is crabby and leaving the house seems like a bad idea.

I get tired of constantly having the bottom 4 inches of my pants get soaking wet anytime I walk outside for even a minute. And even better, if you walk on any sidewalks (I guess I won't have to worry about that this year) you get those lovely salt stains that dry on your pants to remind you until you wash them again just how annoying winter can be.

I hate not seeing the sun. I probably have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I'm not just saying it makes me crabby, I genuinely feel better on sunny days, or longer days. So the thought of the days still getting shorter, with the sun rarely making an appearance just makes me want to curl up in bed and do nothing for the next 4 months. 

See, even typing that is sort of depressing. I can look forward to 4 solid months of snow and cold with rarely a break.

I will not even get into how much I dislike being cold. I'm the sort of person who carries around a hoodie in the middle of summer just in case I get a chill. At least I am not pregnant this winter, that just sent me right over the edge. Being cold, and not being able to find clothes that fit properly to keep me warm? Worst. Thing. Ever. Oh and itchy dry stretched out skin. ugh. It's like nails on a chalkboard just remembering.

But like I said in the beginning, I'll try not to make this a daily complaint, but they will definitely be daily thoughts from now until April sometime.

Is it spring yet?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nathan's first dream

I know the boys have been having dreams for a while, but yesterday was the very first time Nathan woke up and remembered that it happened. It was so exciting to hear him talk about it and explain what went on. I'm pretty sure he thought it was some sort of magical world that took him someplace else, and then brought him back home.

He said that when he closed his eyes he was outside, and he was going to a train station. When he got to the train station he was looking for mom and dad. When he finally found us, he asked me for some fries and pumpkin pie. Which we gave him. Then when he opened his eyes he was back home in his room.

He woke up and that was all he could talk about, like he couldn't believe that it just happened. I can't wait to hear more stories about dreams in the future!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Knitting

I've been slacking a bit on the Thankful posts, weekends are always crazy, and then Monday I just plain forgot.

Today I am thankful for knitting!

It still amazes me after nearly 3 years of knitting, that I can create things from nothing more than yarn, needles and my brain. It's just so neat!

Not to mention relaxing, I'm not sure I would have survived this long through motherhood if I didn't find a hobby as relaxing as knitting.

Unlike sewing, one of my older hobbies, I can carry it with me, set it down in the middle of working on it, work on it while watching a movie, playing with kids, even reading a story. It's such an accommodating hobby which is key when my life isn't exactly predictable and rigid.

Elise is being a stubborn model today, so no pictures of her new sweater just yet, but I promise to get at least one good one of it on Thanksgiving. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Noah 3

1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Blocks
3. What is your favorite fruit? Orange
4. What is your favorite tv show? Toy Story
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Sandwich
6. What is your favorite outfit? Pants and shirts that are blue
7. What is your favorite game? Dr. Suess matching game
8. What is your favorite snack? Cookies
9. What is your favorite animal? Elephants and dogs
10. What is your favorite song? ABC
11. What is your favorite book? Green Eggs and Ham
12. Who is your best friend? Nathan
13. What is your favorite cereal? Blue cereal
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Go down the slide
15. What is your favorite drink? Orange Juice
16. What is your favorite holiday? Santa (Christmas)
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My pillow
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Stir fry
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be Spiderman


Nathan 4

I saw this cute idea to ask kids the same questions every year on their birthday. Nathan's birthday was 2 months ago, but I'm doing it anyway instead of waiting 10 months to start! Noah's answers coming soon

1. What is your favorite color? Red
2. What is your favorite toy? The track that has the exploding bridge
3. What is your favorite fruit? Pear
4. What is your favorite tv show? Cars
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches, and a pretzel and crackers, and peanuts and some apples
6. What is your favorite outfit? The train shirt and train pants
7. What is your favorite game? Candyland
8. What is your favorite snack? Pear
9. What is your favorite animal? Elephant and a giraffe and a monkey
10. What is your favorite song? Candyland (he made it up himself), and the Mall song (Let's go to the mall from How I Met Your Mother)
11. What is your favorite book? The dinosaur one that has a penguin in it
12. Who is your best friend? Uncle Ben and Uncle Joey and Noah bee and Baby Elie and Mommy and Daddy
13. What is your favorite cereal? Blueberry
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play basketball
15. What is your favorite drink? Orange Juice and juice boxes and water
16. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My nighty night bear
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Soup
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Buzz Lightyear


Friday, November 18, 2011

Playgroup

Today I am thankful that we have a great church sponsored playgroup to be a part of.

The boys love their time playing with the other kids, and it's nice to have some other moms to talk to as well!

Today they made a hand print ornament to put on our Christmas tree, I can't wait to get out the ornaments they made last year and compare!

Ballet

I forgot to post last night, but yesterday I was thankful for ballet!

I started dancing when I was 8 (well one year of creative movement somewhere in there, but I usually leave it off since it wasn't consecutive with the other years) and I was hooked.

I danced all the way through high school and college with varying intensity, and mostly focusing on ballet, but threw some modern, jazz, swing dancing and some theatrical choreography in there too.

I was never good enough (or had any real desire because of the intensity and short career) to be a professional dancer, but I was really sad when college ended and it seemed my ballet dancing days were over.

About 5 months after Noah was born, I found an adult ballet class being taught by an old family friend and I was hooked again.

A few months later I accepted a position to teach ballet at the same studio, and I absolutely love it!

I still take adult ballet classes with my sister Nina, though most of the time my head remembers the steps better than my body does. But I've had so much fun being able to stay connected to something that I've loved for so long.

It's more than exercise, and it sounds cheesy, but I really feel like it's a way to express myself. Dancing is more than just knowing the steps and executing them, it's about being part of them. The best technique in the world can still make you a boring dancer if you don't put some of yourself into it as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kid Scissors

Today I am thankful for kid scissors.

You know, the kind that barely cut paper? 

And have a difficult time cutting yarn?

Because if they had been real scissors, then this gown I am getting ready to pop in the mail to it's new owner would have been in several pieces.
 

And a certain child of mine would have spent about 3 hours in a time out today instead of 3 minutes. 

And I would have wept openly.

Why is it that kids just really seem to be drawn to cutting things they shouldn't? We have a very strict "scissors are for paper only, but not books" policy in this house. And they are always used under supervision. Though somehow in the 30 seconds it took me to pick the baby up off the floor, Noah was out of this room with scissors and the gown and working on making his first cut.

I screamed so loud (in shock and in an attempt to get him to stop) that I am sure the poor baby is traumatized for life. He dropped those scissors faster than I have ever seen him do anything, and hopefully it startled him enough to never try something like that again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

St. Anthony

Yes, I know my last post was about Anthony, this one is about St. Anthony and completely unrelated ;)

For the last few years it has been driving me absolutely crazy that I cannot find my copy of St. Faustina's Diary. I was really wondering if it had gotten thrown away, or left somewhere. The last time I remember having it, was in our first house right after we were married, about 4.5 years ago. Since then, no amount of searching has helped me find it.

Even when we moved back in the spring, I looked through each box we packed hoping I would find it, but no such luck.

I was on the verge of purchasing a new copy, since I was feeling like it was time for a read again.

Then, today, in the middle of every mom's worst nightmare, sorting through about a million games, puzzles and toys, I decided to check out the office closet to see if any pieces had made there way in there.

And sitting right out in plain sight, the only thing on top of the box right in front of me when I opened the door, was my copy of St. Faustina's Diary! And then nearby, two medals, St. Michael and St Francis Xavier, each of who have very significant meanings to me!

I asked Anthony (my husband, not the Saint) if he had found them while looking for anything, and he said it's possible, but doesn't have any memory of finding the 700 page book.

So thank you St. Anthony for answering my 4 year long prayer!

Anthony

Oops I forgot to post yesterday. I ended up working for a few hours which I normally don't do on Monday's and it threw my evening schedule off!

Anyway, you may have noticed I don't post about Anthony very often. It's not because he isn't awesome and worth posting about...it's because he hates when I write about him in my blog.

But lately he's been extra awesome, so I have to be extra thankful for him.

I sometimes hear other mom's complain that their husbands don't spend enough time with their kids, or know how to take care of their kids, or help out around the house. I guess it just seemed normal to me that a husband and dad would do all of these things, I had a pretty awesome dad too!


In the last few weeks Anthony has watched all 3 kids (and took them to mass!) while I was helping with the Life Teen retreat. He's made them dinner, fed them and put them to bed 4 of the last 6 nights alone while I was either teaching ballet, helping with Life Teen or even while I got to go paint some pottery with other mom's last week.

He not only changes diapers (which I have heard some dad's won't do) but he changes cloth diapers AND sprays them for me. The few times we've had to use disposable diapers, he comments that he can't wait until we can use "real" diapers again.

He holds the baby in the evenings so I can get some knitting done.


He cleans up around the house, and while I do more by default since I am here all day, he helps out when he's home and there is more work to do.

He knows HOW to clean up around the house, do laundry and cook. I am shocked at the number of adult men who somehow do not have these skills! I never have to worry about leaving him, because he knows how to take care of the kids and the house as well as I do. It's not my house and kids, they are ours.

He even cut the boys hair this week. I've done it before, but he's just so much better at it than I am, I'm glad when he is the one to do it.

And there are a million more reasons I love him, but these are the ones that have popped out in the last week or so. Things that maybe not everyone thinks of as "normal" but things I sometimes take for granted because they have become so normal for us.

And now there will probably not be an Anthony post for a long time :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tonight I am thankful for the sleeping baby in my lap. 

The one who refuses to sleep in her crib, who wakes up the second I put her down because she wants to be close to me.

Who smiles when she see my face, and cries if she wakes up and I'm not there.

She might keep me from getting things done, or having "free time" in the evenings, but I really am thankful to be holding her.

I saw this blog for the first time today, and cannot imagine the heartache this family must be feeling tonight.

I'm holding my kids a little bit tighter today, and thankful they are hear to whine and argue and refuse to eat their dinner.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkins!

Today I am thankful for pumpkins. Yes, I do realize I just had a whole month devoted to my love of pumpkins...I don't care!

Tonight, a dream one year in the making is coming true!

With the help of my brothers and sister in law, we are finally having a pumpkin party.

I'm drooling just thinking of all of the tasty pumpkin treats we will be eating tonight. I'm making some Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake.

I'll try and remember to take some pictures of the deliciousness before we eat it all!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baby Wearing

Today I am thankful for baby wearing, I'm pretty sure Elise would have give up sleep completely without it the last couple of weeks. She's teething, and learning all kinds of new things that are way more important than taking a nap.

At least she's not crabby, she seems perfectly fine not sleeping, but I know she still needs it.

Every afternoon after several failed nap attempts, I throw her up in one of our wraps and she's out within minutes.

That gives me a little bit of time to tidy up the kitchen, or start working on dinner, and she gets in a good nap. Plus I get to snuggle with her a little more which is always nice.

The only downside is that I think Noah is getting just a little bit jealous. The wrap I've been using the most in the house (I have another one and a sling I keep in the car so I'm never without something) is the one I used when I started wearing him. He's come in more than a few times and asked me to put the baby down and wrap him on my back. Poor little guy just doesn't want to grow up some days!

Just before taking a nice nap
She loved being wrapped up from the very beginning
Noah loved his wrap

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Noah A!

Today I am thankful for my youngest brother Noah! (Noah A!)


Even though he has no idea when my birthday is,
and he only weeded half of my flower beds for me,
he's still pretty awesome.


Even though we are 10 years apart, and I left for college when he was only 7, we're still pretty close, and have a lot of fun hanging out (or at least I do, Noah may say differently!)

When he was little he made sure that he gave me a hug every single day. He even came up with his own different kinds of hugs. There were squeeze hugs, backwards hugs, monkey hugs and lots more that I can't even remember anymore. When I would come home for breaks while in college, he made sure to give me lots of extra hugs, explaining they were to make up for the days that he didn't see me. :)

Awesome Arthur shirt

When I was still teaching, he went to the same school, though we were in different parts of the building most of the week, he always made sure to say hi, or at least give me a nod across the library when he saw me.
Typical Noah face


We've been able to spend more time together over the last few years since I started helping with the Life Teen program, and he is now a part of it. I'm always really proud to tell people he is my brother, he's the first one to raise his hand and answer a question, or volunteer to help with something, he wins just about every competition there is, and performs in some pretty great skits.
Same Noah face


He is a lector, and alter server, and has become a great leader in the last 3 years. I can't wait to see what he does next!

Happy Birthday Noah!
Living in a van down by the river

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Squealing

Today I am thankful for Elise's new discovery of her voice. It may drive me crazy in a few weeks, so I better be thankful for it while I still can!

She discovered this week that she can make a high pitched screaming sound when she is happy, and does it A LOT. It is so much fun to hear her expressing herself and trying to talk to us, I can't help but smile every time I hear that happy squeal.

She laid on the floor and just screamed to herself experimenting with different sounds yesterday for a good 20 minutes. I love this age!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Staying Home

Today I am thankful that I am able to stay home with my kids.

Don't misunderstand me, I LOVED my job and I cannot wait to get back into a classroom in a few years, but for now, I am very thankful that we are in a place where I can stay home and take care of the kids for a while.

When Nathan was a baby, I cried twice a week when I dropped him off to go to work. Not that he wasn't loved and taken care of, I knew he was and had no worries, it just didn't feel right. For months after he was born I had separation anxiety and didn't even like for other people to hold him because it felt like part of me was missing.

Yes I knew even then it was irrational, but you carry someone inside of you for 9 months, and it feels a little weird when they are finally a separate entity and even weirder when that part of you is sitting in another room with someone else.

Then I had Noah, and while I was getting a little more used to giving up my kids, Noah was not. He was extremely attached to me, crying even when Anthony held him for over a year. It made leaving him to go to work painful for everyone involved. Especially since part of this separation anxiety was to not take a bottle, or eat any food at all. Which meant driving home during my lunch and planning period just so I could feed him in the middle of the day. Thank goodness for living nearby and a job that was accommodating or I don't know how we would have survived that year!

With Elise it's been different, there is no daily anxiety, she's relaxed, I'm relaxed, it finally feels good to feel like we are all where we should be.

I'm thankful for this time to stay home and be a teacher to my own kids for a while, before heading back to the classroom.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Napping Children

By nothing less than a miracle, all 3 of my children are napping at the same time!

Unfortunately, I am afraid to move our of fear of waking them up. After this weekend I really need some quiet time. So instead of doing anything productive, I'm sitting very quietly in my dining room.

But the quiet sure is nice!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Life Teen!

Yes that is what I am thankful for today!

In my head I see a post that is tying all of these thoughts in my head together...but I am only minutes home from retreat and my brain is not capable of forming coherent sentences without great thought, much less an inspiring blog post.

Hopefully I'll come back to this later, but here are some disjointed thoughts to hold you over until then.

Time
Inspiration
Prayer
Holy Spirit
Adoration
Growing
Leading
Strong
Regina Angelorum
Knights of the Holy Queen
Friendship
Faith

Life changing in so many ways, not just today, but in reflecting where I was 12 years ago on my first retreat, and how I didn't know it then, but what took place on that weekend was really the start of the life I have now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blessed

I am more than thankful tonight, I am blessed. 

Blessed that I had the opportunity for confession.

Blessed to be in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Blessed to be able to help with the high school students who are part of Life Teen. You guys will never know how much YOU inspire me.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Come Holy Spirit

Today I am thankful for the Holy Spirit, particularly tonight as my sister in law was confirmed.

It was obvious in many ways that the Holy Spirit was present, but especially in the way that my 3 children behaved almost perfectly despite having to stand during that hour and a half Mass right during bedtime!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coffee

This morning I am thankful for coffee, and wondering how it took me so long to decide that I liked it?

I am going to blame it on the sleep deprivation and general worn out feeling that comes with being a mom.

5 years ago I  never would have thought so little sleep could feel so normal.

Thanks coffee!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perspective

Today I am thankful for Nathan and his crazy 4 year old perspective on things that keeps me on my toes and laughing.

I got the boys doughnuts yesterday morning, a treat we sometimes get after good behavior at Mass. I try not to bribe them to be good all of the time, but I think a little positive reinforcement can go a LONG way.

Anyway, I pulled over and started handing the doughnuts back to the boys so they could eat them in the car.

Nathan taking off his mittens started to tell me something, his speech isn't always the best, but I was having a particularly hard time understanding what he was trying to tell me.

Nathan: Mom, I will take off my mittens so I don't get (insert word I can't understand) on it.

Me: Oh okay, you don't want to get crumbs on your mittens.

Nathan: NO! I don't want to get (there's that word again) on it.

I'm starting to think it's a little weird he is saying "it", instead of "them" he is usually pretty good about that.

Me: Wait, what are you saying?

Nathan: Wawn, I don't want to get wawn on my doughnut. (Pointing to his mittens)

Me: OH you mean you don't want to get YARN on your doughnut!

Nathan: yeah, sometimes the knit stuff, with the yarn comes off and I don't want any yarn on my doughnut.

And here I was thinking he was worried about keeping his mittens clean, all along he was worrying he would be getting yarn on his precious doughnut.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thankful

Inspired by a few online friends, and because I like blogging themes, for the next month I am going to try and post once a day what I am thankful for.

I've been very focused lately on what I am DOING and I want to step back and just give thanks to God for what he has already given me.

Today I am thankful for the gift of my faith. I've been wanting to go to morning Mass with the kids for a while, and today being All Saints Day, was a perfect opportunity for us to go. I love feast days and being able to celebrate with my small faith community knowing that I am really celebrating with an even larger community all over the world at the same time.

Anytime I start to feel like all of my friends moved away, and I am longing for the feeling of being a part of something, I don't need to anything but attend Mass and to know that this is where I belong. Especially on the day to celebrate those Saints who have gone before us and are interceding for us!

I had a little help from my mom who was at Mass this morning too. But I'm feeling more confident about just going to morning Mass on our own sometime soon.

To make it even easier the boys were actually excited to go this morning when I woke them up!

Hopefully we'll be able to try it again some time soon.

Feel free to add your own daily thanks to the comments!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Alright, so I didn't make something with pumpkin EVERY day, but 20 out of 31 isn't too bad either. I even forgot to post about the pumpkin things we did that were not recipes, so it's probably even closer to 25.

I didn't have anything planned to make today, as usual I just got busy.

My parents are coming over tonight for our annual Halloween chili party (were skipping trick or treating since we went last week and at 3 and 4 they have no idea when Halloween actually is!), and since the kids were behaving (key word there is "were") I threw together some quick pumpkin cornbread and honey butter to go with our chili. I haven't tasted any of this yet, but they smell great!

Most pumpkin cornbread recipes I saw called for molasses, which I just don't have. The only time I have ever used molasses is to make gingerbread, and it's just not that time of year quite yet.

I finally found this one, and I had all of the ingredients, like I said, it smells great!

I left the pecans out of mine because I neither like nor have any pecans.

It is nearly impossible to take a non blurry picture with a baby on your back

I haven't tried any of this yet, so I will let you know how they tasted after dinner!

*Edit* They were delicious! I actually liked them a lot more then regular corn muffins. The pumpkin made them nice and moist. With some honey butter on top they were perfect!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Am I really blogging about sleep again?

Yep.

My kids are good sleepers, I would even venture to say great sleepers. At 3 and 4 they go to bed at 8, wake up at 7 and take a 1.5-2 hour nap in the afternoon. From what I have heard from some other parents, that's pretty darn good.

So it's not that I'm complaining, things could be worse, SO much worse, but this new habit my preschoolers have developed is making me a cranky mom.

Our bedtime routine goes something like this:

7:30 start cleaning up whatever we were doing/playing with. Read a book if the cleaning up doesn't take 5 million years.

7:45 Put on pajamas, brush teeth, get a drink of water, get in bed

7:55 hugs, kisses, tucked in

8 lights out

8:00:01 Noah opens the door and runs back to his bed laughing

8:00:30 we close the door and tuck him in again

Repeat this 5-6 times.

8:03 Nathan opens the door and says "mom, I like you"

I like you too Nathan, good night

8:04 Noah remembered the getting out of bed game again.

Repeat 5 more times

8:06 Nathan opens the door and says "mom, I love you"

Awesome buddy, but please, it's time for bed.

8:08 door opens again, but this time not all of the way, just a crack. It slowly opens if you ignore it, an inch every few seconds. If you acknowledge said door, Noah runs to bed and both boys deny they had anything to do with it.

8:09 I stand outside the door and listen to Nathan telling Noah to go open the door. I want to beat my head against the wall. Instead, I open the door, and tuck them in again. I've lost track at this point how many times it's been, 20? 78? 300? It's all just running together.

8:10 I've figured out that while Nathan is the one organizing all of this, he is too chicken to get out of his bed anymore. Noah, is in it for the long haul, and even without Nathan's directing would continue to get up over and over and over again. So I make an executive decision to put Noah in a time out in the dining room with me.

8:10:30 Noah is already crying he wants to go to bed

8:11 Noah sticks his feet through the back of the chair, gets them stuck and has a complete emotional breakdown.

8:12 I get his feet free and tuck him in bed again.

If I'm lucky, that's where it ends and I don't hear from them again until morning (or 5am if there happens to be muffins beckoning Noah out of his bed to eat them), or we could repeat the whole process 1-3 more times before calling it a night.

Like I said, things could be worse, but these small children are learning how to push my buttons...and I am not amused.

Pumpkin Pillows

I cannot believe that I didn't take a picture of these! For once, something that I made, was actually much prettier than the recipe photos. That's what you get when you are rushing between teaching ballet and a Halloween party. Awesome food, no time for pictures.

I followed the recipe exactly, and I'm glad I did. They were delicious. I need to make them again as soon as I have a chance to.

I even made them look extra festive, but putting the caramel dip in a tiny carved out pumpkin. It was super cute. But you will just have to take my word on it.


Ingredients

12 KRAFT Caramels
1 tsp.  water
1/2 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 tsp.  ground cinnamon, divided
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup  canned pumpkin
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp.  flour
1/4 tsp. orange zest
20   won ton wrappers
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 cups  oil
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Make It


MICROWAVE caramels and water in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 30 sec.; stir until caramels are completely melted. Cool 2 min. Stir in sour cream and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Refrigerate until ready to use.
WHISK cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar, flour, zest and remaining cinnamon until well blended. Spoon about 2 tsp. onto center of each won ton wrapper. Moisten edges with egg white; fold diagonally in half. Pinch edges together tightly to seal.
HEAT oil in large saucepan on medium-high heat to 350ºF. Add won tons, in batches; cook 2 to 3 min. or until evenly browned. Drain. Cool slightly or to room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with caramel sauce.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

I could eat this all day long...and have been since I made them yesterday. Thursday's are hard days to post since I have ballet in the evenings, I always think I will have more time and then suddenly it's bedtime and the day is over.

Anyway, here is the recipe!

For the filling:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbls flour
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the muffins:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbls vegetable oil
For the topping:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Directions:
  1. To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese, egg, flour and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Set aside.
  2. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin about 2/3 full with batter. Add a dollop of filling on top. (I would say I used about a tablespoon of batter and a heaping teaspoon of filling. They were pretty full going into the oven.) Sprinkle with topping. Bake or 14 minutes. Cool. Eat. Smile.
I followed this recipe exactly, without even a little bit of tweaking and they are great. So great that I woke up at 5am this morning to the sound of Noah climbing on the counter trying to sneak some. Their location has since been moved.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Crescent Rolls

I am a terrible blogger. When I get busy, I don't blog. Then I make promises about blogging and forget to keep them. Oops!

Anyway, here is what I made at the end of last week. I can't say they were my favorite pumpkin recipe so far, but I did eat probably 60% of the batch (other 40% consumed by Nathan and Noah). I think it was more the crescent rolls that I didn't like. Something lighter and fluffier would have definitely been better.

I'm not sure if it was baker error, or just not a great recipe. I am typically pretty good at baking, so I am going to blame the recipe on this one.

I started with this recipe for crescent rolls, it was a little too dense for my liking in a crescent roll, but here it is none the less.

  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

Directions

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in remaining flour until smooth. Scrape dough from side of bowl. Knead dough, then cover it and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1-1/2 hours).
  3. Punch down dough. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 12-inch circle. Spread with butter. Cut into 10 to 15 wedge. Roll up the wedges starting with the wide end. Place rolls with point under on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double (about 1 hour).
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 12-15 minute or until golden brown. Brush tops with butter when they come out.

And then I used this recipe for the pumpkin pie filling.
  
Start with 2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls.  Roll each crescent roll out and cut lengthwise in 2.  This recipe will make 32 mini croissant.  Each croissant will get a generous tablespoon of this luscious pumpkin pie filling:

1/2 block of cream cheese
1 cup of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 T sugar

Beat together until fluffy and creamy.

Mix together 4 T sugar and 1 T pumpkin pie spice and roll each pumpkin pie croissant in it.


Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes. 
 
And now that I am putting this all together, I see the recipe was for pumpkin pie CROISSANTS, not CRESCENT ROLLS. But the recipe calls for canned crescent rolls...hmmmm.

Here is my advice, buy the canned stuff, it's lighter and will give you something more like a croissant than a crescent roll.

And after all of that...I didn't even take pictures.

More pumpkin fun coming soon! This post got long, but I'll write about our hayride and trick or treating soon.


Friday, October 21, 2011

No I haven't forgotten

I haven't forgotten about the whole pumpkin thing, in fact I HAVE been cooking and doing fun things with pumpkins...I've just been too busy to sit down and write a post about it! Monday morning expect a big post with a recipe (or maybe two) and lots of pictures doing fall/pumpkiny things!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

I love pudding, not as much as I love pumpkin, but I still love it. I was really excited when I found this recipe, and it made a great dessert for the boys and I after dinner tonight! (Anthony doesn't like pumpkin or dessert, so his loss)

I followed it exactly, only we didn't put any nuts on top. #1 because we don't really like nuts, and #2 because we didn't have any.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preparation

  • 1. Combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine milk and egg, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • 2. Combine pumpkin and the next 4 ingredients (through ground nutmeg) in a bowl, stirring well. Slowly add pumpkin mixture to milk mixture, whisking constantly. Place pan over low heat, and cook for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly (do not boil). Divide pudding evenly among 4 dessert bowls, and cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Chill.


It was delicious and creamy, much better than store bought pumpkin pie pudding I have had before. This tasted much more like real pumpkin pie!


To Co-sleep or Not to Co-sleep

5 years ago I would have laughed if someone talked with me about co-sleeping with our kids. No way. We were getting a crib, they were sleeping in their own room, *maybe* we would let them sleep in our room in a cradle for the first few weeks, you know, until they were sleeping through the night. But then they were going straight to their room and crib.

Then I had kids.

I've talked about co-sleeping before and how we came to it. It was no later than a few hours into night 2 at home with Nathan when I brought him in bed, passed out and never looked back.

We didn't even attempt putting Noah in the crib until he was at least 6 months old.

And we just set it up for Elise a few weeks ago.

She's the easy baby.

She hasn't been sleeping great in the crib, it's a little difficult to get her down without waking her up, and she usually only lasts about 30 minutes before waking up again. But honestly, we haven't really been trying very hard.

She just sleeps so well with us.

By the time the boys were this age we were ready to start kicking them out. Nathan used to turn sideways in bed, put his feet against Anthony's back and stretch.
Good morning Nathan!


Noah tried to crawl off the bed at 2am, and ended up waking up more and more often with us right next to him.
Noah sleeping with me on the couch


But Elise? She snuggles in and sleeps completely still. She usually wakes up about once in the middle of the night to eat for a few minutes, then goes right back to sleep until 9 or 10am.

It's just too easy and comfortable.

Because of that, I'm having a really hard time putting any sort of effort at all into getting her into her crib. I actually like sleeping with her instead of being frustrated and trying to find a way to get her out.

I've never had this problem before, and now I'm sort of torn. Do I stick with what's working and follow my instincts like I always have? Will that make me one of those moms with a 4 year old who won't get out of their bed?

Or do I move her into her room so that she can be independent and learn to sleep on her own even though it makes sleep difficult for the both of us?
The snugglebug

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jello and Crawling

We went with something simple today since I knew we would be gone most of the day at dr's appointments and running errands. The boys loved their pumpkin jigglers with their lunch today though!










Elise is getting very fast at crawling and scooting around, I'm having a hard time getting anything fun done! For a while I could sit her on the ground near me with some toys and she would roll around and play happily. Now she's down the hall in the bathroom or the boys room, or getting into their toys in the play room! She sure is keeping me on my toes, and making me keep things really clean and picked up as well. She is a scavenger and will find anything she can and put it in her mouth.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

I am SO excited to try this one, it's in the oven as I type this, so the review will come at the end. I've been meaning to for a while, but I may or may not have mentioned before, that when my kids wake up they want to eat...5 minutes ago.

In the time it takes me to toast and spread some cream cheese on a bagel Noah is usually already sobbing at his seat how hungry he is. At the mention of making other breakfast meals, Nathan usually throws himself on the floor and tells me through his tears that "it's so hard to wait!".

Today is grocery shopping day, I woke up and we had exactly 1 bagel. So I knew that even if I made something else for myself, there were going to be tears over having to wait, share the bagel, or one of them getting the bagel and the other something else. So here we are!

I actually had to give them a few crackers to hold them over, and they are still popping their heads into the kitchen ever few minutes to ask if it's ready yet because they are SO hungry.

I used this recipe, and followed the directions exactly. The only thing I would change, is to soften the butter before adding it to the mix. I was pretty sure I would want it softened, but since it didn't specify, I just threw it in...and had a lump of butter moving around in the oatmeal. Taking it out and cutting it up worked too, but softening ahead of time would be perfect.


Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (for the top)
In a large bowl mix together all ingredients except the ¼ cup brown sugar for the top.
Spread into a greased 9×13 pan.
Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup brown sugar on top.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


I used a square baking dish instead of my 9x13...because it's prettier. I ended up baking it for between 25 and 30 minutes since it was a little bit thicker in the square dish.

And they loved it! It is delicious, and will definitely be making it again. I think next time I will mix it the night before, so I can just pop it in the oven when we wake up in the morning and the horrible crying wait will be reduced.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Smoothie

I'm fully recovered from the party this weekend (a post about the Green Eggs and Ham fun we had coming soon!) and back to pumpkins.

Sunday's I help with our parish Life Teen group, and while I love being a part of the group, there is one small thing I do not like. Sunday dinner.

Mass is at 5:30, we come to help set up no later than 4:45 and I am not home for the night until nearly 9. So eating becomes a little problematic. There is a snack at the night, but it's barely enough to keep me from wanting to eat everything in the kitchen by the time I finally get home.

Today I decided to make myself a snack to eat (or drink) on the way in hopes of not dying of starvation on the drive home.

Most smoothies call for yogurt or at least a banana or something...which I of course didn't have. But I was determined to make this work anyway with what I had in the fridge.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Ice


Throw everything but the ice into the blender and blend until smooth, then add little bits of ice at a time until it is as thick as you would like. Pour into a cup and enjoy! It's like pumpkin pie in a glass. You can add more or less sugar too, depending on how sweet you would like it to be.

It wasn't as smooth and creamy as I would have loved in a smoothie, but definitely tasty and nice and thick with enough ice.

And best of all, while I was still hungry by the time I got home, I wasn't ready to eat my own arm on the car ride home.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Noah

Taking a break from all things pumpkins for a few days to celebrate my little guy and his 3rd birthday! Even just typing that out is weird for me.

Nathan was born a big brother, and has always acted much older than he is. He often tells Anthony he is being too silly, and is serious.

Noah on the other hand is my baby. Even though he's not the youngest, I think he will always be the baby in my mind. Probably because he wanted nothing to do with anyone but me until he was about 18 months old. This includes Anthony. While other toddlers were running around playing, Noah just wanted to be held and snuggled. And he is still a snuggly guy who has to climb up in my lap several times a day just to cuddle for a few minutes.

So to say that he is 3 years old just seems surreal.

3 years ago, we had *just* gotten back from a wedding in Buffalo, we'd only been home a little over 24 hours when I went into labor 25 days early, and I was in COMPLETE denial.

I think I'd been having contractions for over an hour, less than 5 minutes apart when Anthony finally told me he didn't care what I said, he was packing a bag for me. I'd already told him several times there was no need and they would stop. Um, right.

After my dad showed up to watch Nathan, and we made our way over to the hospital it was pretty clear we were having a baby.

The results from my group b strep test were not back yet, so they needed to start me on the first dose of antibiotics right away. Honestly, the feeling of the penicillin going into my arm was the most annoying part of the whole labor and delivery.

For as needy and difficult Noah was as an infant, I could have a million birth's like his.

Less than 3 hours after we pulled into the parking lots, and 3 pushes (the dr just barely made it in the room in time) we had our little Noah!
(I very distinctly remember telling my mom "So THAT'S what normal people feel like after having a baby" Read Nathan's birth story to understand why this was so different for me!)

Though he wasn't Noah yet at that point, the biggest (and really only) problem with him being early, was that we had no idea what we were going to call this child. He remained "Baby Mion" for a few hours, then finally I told Anthony I was too tired to have a lengthy name discussion, but I wanted him to have a name and he could just pick from our top 4-5 names we'd been thinking of. Anthony named him Noah Gabriel (my favorite on the list!).

He slept with me most of that night and every night from then until he was about a year old, the sweet little guy sure was (and is) a mama's boy. And while it was difficult to do just about anything else, those first 18 months, I'll always remember snuggling with my Noah bee.*

Cute little brand new Noah

Meeting his brother for the first time
If he wasn't being held, he was following me around asking to be held

Snuggly one year old
Snuggly two year old
My big boy three year old

*I think I may have shared before in talking about the baby, but when Noah was born, Nathan was only 13 months old and didn't have much in the way of a vocabulary. He couldn't say "baby" and it came out instead as "bee". I called Noah "Noah baby" very early on and Nathan followed suite calling his brother "Noah bee" and the nickname stuck. As a joke now we sometimes even call my little brother Noah (almost 17!) "Noah A" :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Ravioli

This was a time consuming one! I've been wanting to do it for a little bit, but it really takes a lot of time without interruptions to make your own pasta. Luckily the baby was having an extra cute day and she quietly played on the floor while I filled, cut and sealed the ravioli.

While it wasn't a quite dish, it was worth the effort, so good! Elise ate 2 by herself, I think the most solid food she's had at one sitting so far, and Noah asked for seconds, eating more than I did. We won't discuss how Nathan felt about the meal.

I followed this recipe exactly, next time I might add *slightly* less salt to the filling just because of my personal taste preference, but it wasn't too salty.

Mine were not the prettiest, but they sure were tasty!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. Mix the cheese, pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nutmeg. Set filling aside.
  2. Mix the flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the flour. Beat the tomato paste, oil, and eggs until well blended, and pour into the well in the flour. Stir with a fork, gradually bring the flour mixture to the center of the bow until the dough makes a ball. If the dough is too dry, mix in up to 2 tablespoons water.
  3. Knead lightly on a floured cloth-covered surface, adding flour if dough is sticky, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover, and let rest for another 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll the dough, one part at a time, into a rectangle about 12 x 10 inches. Keep the rest of the dough covered while working.
  4. Drop 2 level teaspoons filling onto half of the rectangle, about 1 1/2 inches apart in 2 rows of 4 mounds each. Moisten the edges of the dough, and the dough between the rows of pumpkin mixture with water. Fold the other half of the dough up over the pumpkin mixture, pressing the dough down around the pumpkin. Cut between the rows of filling to make ravioli; press the edges together with a fork, or cut with a pastry wheel. Seal edges well. Repeat with the remaining dough and pumpkin filling. Place ravioli on towel. Let stand, turning once, until dry, about 30 minutes.
  5. Cook ravioli in 4 quarts of boiling salted water until tender; drain carefully. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nathan woke up from his nap today on the wrong side of the bed (or rather couch since that's where he was sleeping). So to help cheer him up, I let him pick today's pumpkin recipe as an after dinner snack. He picked out these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies after many tears were shed over the possibility of pumpkin bread (oh the horror!) and the fact that we didn't have anymore cupcake liners for muffins.

In the end though, I think we were all happy with the result!



like I've said before, I don't often modify recipes when baking, too much can go wrong. So I followed this recipe pretty  much exactly, without the option walnuts.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

The only real changes I made, were that I made bigger cookies (it was dinner time and I wanted to fit them all on 2 pans so I wouldn't have to spoon out more in the middle of eating), and I cooked them for 17 minutes instead of the 10 listed in the recipe. This could have been a result of my cookies being bigger than suggested.