Thursday, February 24, 2011

SWEET! Wheat Treats

What do you get when you mix a wannabe health nut with a sugar junkie?
Some really great whole grain treats!

Here are my favorite all natural, whole-grain, recipes with yes...some sugar:

Granola Bars (thanks to my friend B. R. for this)
2 cups oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup seeds (I use half flax, half pumpkin)
1 cup nuts, crushed (I use half almonds, half peanuts)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 T. butter (I use coconut oil--yum!)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. real salt
8 oz. dried fruit (I use one handful each of dried blueberries and dried pomegranates)

Mix first 4 ingredients in a baking dish with sides. Toast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring every few minutes.

Prepare a 9x13 pan for granola by lining it with waxed paper or plastic wrap, sprayed with nonstick spray.

Put sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt in saucepan and bring to a simmer stirring constantly.

When grains are toasted mix everything in large bowl: the grains, liquid glue, and dried fruit.
Mix well. Dump into prepared pan. Place another plastic or wax sheet over the top and PRESS HARD all over the granola.
Let cool (30 min. to an hour). Carefully turn the granola over onto a large cutting board. With a large knife cut your granola into whatever size bars you like.
You can wrap them individually in plastic for lunches or just put them in an airtight container. They will last for a month or so in the cupboard--unless you eat them first.

I Loooove these--much better than anything you can by at the store--my kids like these too. Adrie calls them "candy bars."

And now for my very favorite cookies:

Great Harvest Cookies (thanks to my niece for finding this--they taste as good as the ones I grew up with from the G. H. bakery)
2 cups wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar (can be reduced a little)
2 eggs
1 1/2 T. molasses
1 T. milk

2 cups oatmeal
1 cup raisins (optional but good)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix together and add the oatmeal and raisins.

These are fun to eat when they're big just like at the bakery. Drop 1/4 cup sized (or smaller) onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, 350 degrees. Do not overbake--they are best moist and chewy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Adria Laura

Adrie turned 6 the other day! She had the most funtastical day ever. Actually, it was a whole week of fun with all the Valentine's parties going on. Her special day started with Cupcake Krispies cereal in bed, some boola boola present finding, and her party...
Adrie got roller-blades for her birthday. They only had green ones in her size and luckily she thinks they're very cool. She wears them from the time she gets up to the time she goes to it's been taking a lot longer lately to get her chores done.
Adrie thought it took FOREVER to get to 1 pm when her party started. She invited a couple of her favorite friends for a fun afternoon. They got their hair styled at the college. CUTE! Brynn got out of school early to come with us per Adrie's request. We had to go somewhere to show off their cute do's so we went to McDonalds for Happy Meals and Playland. This was the only birthday party I've ever put on where I was able to sit down and get 20 pages of a book read! Loved it!
We had homemade mac-n-cheese for dinner (another recipe from Taste Buds) and the above pictured cake, which Adrie had planned on eating all by herself because it was "so small." Two mouthfuls of frosting later she decided she it might be okay to share with the rest of us. We watched Alpha and Omega which was a lot better than I thought it would be. It produced enough laughs from all of us--especially the 6 year old.

Adrie is a super cute and fun girl to have. I get to spend a lot of time with her because it is only her and Cannon at home now. Here are 6 fun facts about Adrie:

1. She's just so cute. She has these perfect lips, kissable cheeks, and sparkly blue eyes that make her my little doll. She likes to ask me what her name would be if she were an Indian, and I always answer "Jewel Eyes."

2. People assume Adrie is as little as she looks and then they're amazed when she opens her mouth and starts to talk. She corrected the hairdressers when they thought she was four. "Actually, I'm six."She learned to talk at an early age. One day when I asked her what she was doing on the computer she said, "I'm building my vocabulary." She explained to her friends recently that it wasn't "proper" to toot.

3. "How many more days until dance?" is Adrie's FAQ. She loves her class, especially now that they are learning some hip hop. She loves to dress up and is very confident on the stage.

4. Adrie is absolutely TERRIFIED of cats and dogs-- and actually anything that moves--even flies. If any of the above were to approach you would hear a scream that would be more consistent with someone being murdered. Therefore she mostly stays at home...good thing she likes to read....

5. Adrie also learned to read at an early age and has been ever since. We can't get her to bed some nights because she is so into a book. Lately she's been poring over the Book of Mormon and we certainly can't tell her to stop reading that and go to bed.

6. I had a friend named Adria growing up and thought it was a beautiful and unique name. I always wanted to name one of my girls Adria Laura but I couldn't convince Brandon on the first. When our 3rd girl came along I thought I might have another chance. Before we went to the hospital we'd narrowed it down to Allie or Adria and decided that when she was born we'd see what name she looked more like. (I know that might seem like a weird concept but I just like to see my babies before I can commit to a name.) Obviously, we thought she looked like the latter. We call her Adrie for short and it seems to be just the right name for our pretty princess.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So Romantical

So Brandon came home from work yesterday and said the most magical words to me. He could see I was in the kitchen, busily whipping up a recipe for dinner (from Taste buds are the Best Buds.) And that is when he said those magical words, "What can I do to help?" Did you catch that?

I swear there is nothing more romantic to woman who's swirling around a kitchen of chaos with 3 pots going on the stove, a sink full of dishes, and a house full of children and their friends. And I mean it when I say those words were magical. I felt lighter, practically weightless, just by hearing them. He cleared all the paperwork off the table so Kate could set it and we could enjoy our sweet n sour chicken dinner. He had one very grateful wife!

We went to the Jon Schmidt piano concert last night. It was fabulous and inspiring as great performances are. When I was growing up, my mom took me to all kinds of wonderful cultural events. She was the neighborhood will-call lady for anyone's extra tickets. The symphony, opera, ballet, theatre? If someone couldn't use their tickets they knew my mom would! Sometimes she would get so many she'd be trying to give away the giveaways. I usually ended up accompanying my mom to all these free concerts and I was happy to do it. (My Dad was more of a football/trucks/big guns kind of guy.)

Anyway, I love going out for a night on the town and I'm happy to support whatever entity is willing to bring some Art and Culture to our community. We actually purchased our tickets in advance , but ironically a friend called that afternoon offering me 2 free ones.
I'm just so glad Brandon will go with me! He likes football and any other sport that can be played or televized but he also plays the violin, and he's up for a musical once in a while and that's why he's my Renaissance man, who also knows the meaning of true romance which brings me back to my point...

What's my point? If you want to get crafty (and I know Megz will) you could paint a sign in your entryway. (cc can use her new vinyl machine) Forget, "Live Laugh Love," or "Happily Ever After," What can I do to help? is the phrase that's gonna work some magic in your home. If miracles happen, maybe even the kids will start saying it...

Sunday, February 6, 2011


What a funny word: special. As long as you pronounce it with a sweet innocent tone, that is the word that sums up a few events of the past week.

Brandon won a gold medal in the Special Olympics Unified Sports. Huh? That means that he spent a couple of days in the big city playing on a team of athletes with disabilities. Unified means it's a team of 10 athletes, 3 of which are non-disabled. (like Brandon) Got it? So anyway, this was a volleyball team. And they won the gold medal for their division. It's a pretty awesome addition to our trophy case:) AND of course a very cool experience for Brandon. You can ask him about it sometime.

Brynn was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by her Dad. What a special day for her and all of us to share that together. She has now made a promise to

"mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places...

...Ye have entered into a covenant that ye will serve Him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon y

I love those scriptures and it was good for me to be reminded to live up to those covenants that I made when I was 8 years old.

My mom could not believe that Brandon's family members had driven from all over the state to join us for Brynn's special day. It kind of made me look at the situation with new eyes and realize, Wow! That IS awesome!! And this is the kind of commitment we see at every family event. Family is the most important thing. That is what I have learned from being in the C. family. They really live that principle.

We had lots of food and lots of visiting at the house after.
The basement was rockin' with a Wii dance tournament. You can see by my random photo shots that all the kids had lots of fun--although Cannon wasn't sure he wanted everyone playing with his toys, that were suddenly very special to him. That last photo is Connor and Porter--yes that is Porter in the platinum wig!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Bonnie Brynn

Brynn celebrated her 8th birthday last week. What a fabulous day it was, starting with fruity Trix in bed, and ending with a late night party with friends.
Brynn was excited to get some smokin' hot pink rollerblades. Now she can derby with the best of them.I went to Brynn's class to pass out treats and read a story, "Bony Legs." They were so cute, and except for a few random comments like, "Brynn is so nice" and "you're pretty," they were really good at listening to the story. Who couldn't love 2nd graders?!Brynn invited a few friends (the siblings sneaked in) over for a build-your-own-ice cream sundae bar and movie night with Shrek Forever After.

It has been a joy to have Brynn in our family. She is the peacemaker in our family, and she can be pretty darn silly too. Here are 8 other fun facts about Brynn.

1. She has a musical laugh. Ever since she was a baby, I have loved her giggles that sound like a bubbling brook.

2. When we chose Brynn's name, we were looking for something that would go with the middle name Bonnie, after her very wonderful grandma. We thought the name Brynn would be perfect. It was fun and different but not weird and we didn't know of anyone else by that name. Ironically, we now live on a street with 3 Brynn's--all different spelling variations but all the exact same age!

3. Call it picky or particular, Brynn is very selective in her sense of style. She has to have her hair just so and outfits. She might say a shirt is cute, but she wouldn't wear it because it's "not her style." She needs to go into fashion design. She will dream up all kinds of outfits and accessories that she would like, and that unless she learns to sew, might never "materialize."

4.Brynn quickly obeys. She is every mother's dream. If I tell her it's time to practice, she might grumble for a minute, but she gets out her violin and gets busy. If the house were on fire, and I told the kids to run, she'd probably be the only one to make it out in time.

5. Brynn has a natural ability in most every sport she's tried. Her favorite is gymnastics. She wants to be BYU cheerleader. (That would be the only draw for me to attend a game -- or okay if any of your kids were playing AND they weren't covered up in all that gear so I could actually recognize them, AND if the games were like 30 minutes instead of 3 hours in the freezing cold and...okay back to Brynn)

6. Brynn was born by c-section, and she didn't come out easily. The doctor kept trying to pull her out and she kept wriggling out of his grasp. It finally took 2 doctors pulling to weasel her out, and when she came out she screamed--that wonderful newborn kind of scream that lets you know you have a healthy baby and brings tears to your eyes like a faucet that you didn't even know you'd turned on.

7. You know how after they're born you get to see your baby for a second but then they whisk her away and do whatever they have to do with her? Well, after what seemed like a long time of all that plus stitching me up etc. they finally handed me my pretty pink baby--and I looked at her and my first thought was, "I don't think this one's mine. She doesn't look anything like me. Actually, she looks a lot like the lady in the room next to mine that just delivered."
Yah, the nurse and Brandon, ended up convincing me that this was , in fact, mine, and Obviously! Anyone who sees Brynn now could tell she is definitely mine.

8. When I was about 6 months pregnant with Brynn, I was saying my usual prayers, when I had this warm feeling come over me that this girl that would be joining our family was a very special spirit from heaven. I've always been grateful to remember that Heavenly Father really loves Brynn.

We love her too. This weekend she will be baptized a member of the LDS church and be able to receive all the blessings that come with that. Congratulations, Brynn!