Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Zucchini Brownies

TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yogurt and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in zucchini. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. For frosting, in a small saucepan, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Spread over warm brownies. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.

*** Since our little guy is allergic to nuts, I won't be using this frosting, although if it's as good as the brownies are, it will be oh so yummy. I plan on just frosting them with store-bought chocolate frosting. That's IF they last that long.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ma'am, You Have a Beautiful Baby

Sheesh, time has flown by! I looked at the last blog post dated June 24, and I am amazed at how much our lives have changed since that time.

Our little guy turned eight

We went camping at our property near Graeagle, California for the Fourth of July weekend.
See the mustard smiley face on the hamburger?

Sydnee with her friends, Alex and Stacie, at the Civil War Re-enactments at the 4th of July festivities in Graeagle.

Good harvest this year!


The biggest change in our family. In July our family became an official foster family. We have a beautiful 19 month staying with us. He is such a happy little guy, he holds such a special place in our hearts. All the training that we take tries to prepare you for this time, and it does in many ways. But I know of no way to completely prepare you for how you will feel for these children that come into your home. It's an overwhelming feeling for me to know that we are trusted enough for a precious child to be placed into your home to love and take care of. Our days are now filled with doctor's appointments, diapers, bottles, and scattered toys. By the end of the day I am exhausted like I have not been in such a long time. I absolutely love it.

Sharing our love of music- which he loves, too.

We went to the state fair last Wednesday. Adam, Erin and her friend were off riding the rides, and I was with little guy. Someone comes up to me and says, "Ma'am, you have a beautiful baby there." They just see a content and happy child. I look down and see a child that is not only happy, but has bonded with our family. I see a child that may have a rough road ahead of him, but has happy memories that we are a part of. I smile and say, "Thank you."

Syd's fair isle hat gets the Grand Champion ribbon in the knitting division

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We've had a busy month leading up to summer. We are now the proud parents of a high school graduate! Syd's graduation was held at Lawlor Events Center. There were around 400 graduates - quite a big difference of 54 for me. I really thought that I would cry at the ceremony. I brought Kleenex, ready to bawl big time, but I only got teary-eyed once. I think there was so much going on, I was busy taking all that in. Plus, I got a lot of crying done the week prior to the graduation.
Can you believe she is graduating?! Seems like not so long ago I was tucking her in to her little toddler bed, and reading her Mother Goose. Life goes by too fast.
That's me, Syd and Adam after graduation.
You can see that Erin has been busy shopping and sewing. The boots she got at Prism Magic, the purse was a gift from Grandma, and she made the skirt. This ensemble makes me think of how different our tastes our. But I also see how creative and talented she is and am very proud of her ability to put together an outfit and wear it proudly.
Syd entered the Reno Raunch-o-Rama "pinup" girl competition. Erin and I made the dress, but I really think the petticoat makes this outfit. What d'ya think?

The same day as the car show was World Wide Knit In Public Day. Soooo, we had to knit in public, even if for just a little bit.
Every year in the winter months before Spring and Summer, I think of how this year I'm going to make the best garden ever. This year we ordered seeds, even planted them indoors to start growing them, but planted them outside a little late. Our poor little plants are not doing so well. Of course, having one of the wettest springs I can ever remember with little sun and very cool weather sure isn't helping them. We're finally getting warm weather but I don't think they had a

Clay put in an awesome sprinkler system for our garden. Now we just have to turn the faucet on to water the whole garden.

Beans and peas,

Poor garden! Maybe it will perk up with more sun.

Ok, so this isn't the garden, I just like these two pictures.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Life Lessons

Some life lessons I have learned in the past two weeks:

1. I can sew, although I still consider myself an amateur.
This was our kitchen table the day before the dance.
2. I can not do hair.

Usually she has her hair done by a stylist. This time I did it. Next time, back to the stylist.
3. I can procrastinate - very well I might add. I seem to wait until the last minute, then crank it out (whatever I'm working on at the moment), but not without lots of venting and - sometimes - crying (see #1 above).

But the end result is worth it.
4. I can not bake or cook.

'Nuff said. This is supposed to be carrot cake.
5. I can exercise. I've made it to my next "virtual walking" goal up the coast of Oregon.

6. I can not believe that I'll ever like to exercise. Anyone have any ideas on this one???
7. I can be open to new hair styles (I think)
Erin's newest look. Three new colors added - pink, red and blue.
8. I can not imagine life without my kids.
"Happy Mother's Day, Mom."
"Some of the petals kinda fell off."
(I think it looks pretty good, since it made the trip home in his backpack.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our Vacation - Almost Over

Today we left Lincoln City around 10:45 am. Check out time is 11:00 so I considered myself 15 minutes early - ha! We're planning on taking two days to get home, so we took our time and stopped by a few places along the way as we headed south on Hwy. 101.

Went back to the Newport Bay front. Erin wanted to buy a backpack she had seen earlier this week. While she was shopping, we found a cache. This was our second one of the day.

Oregon hides are the best. All that foliage makes great camouflage.
Found this bike parked in Waldport. There was a sign on it that said it was part of the Waldport B.I.K.E.S. Program. These are bikes that are free for people to use. If you are using the bike, you are supposed to tie it up. The sign on the bike said, "If it's tied, don't ride." Basically, you can use the bike to ride around town - it even comes with a helmet - and when you are done you are supposed to park it in a public part of town for someone else to use. Cool idea. This was parked near Whittler's Workshop, which used to be our favorite shop in Waldport. Unfortunately, the artist that made these unique sculptures passed away. Some of his items are still for sale in the shop, but it's just not the same. A red flag comes up when I see a sign on the front counter saying "CASH ONLY." Hmmmm. Funny, the website doesn't say anything about him passing away.
Grand Central Pizza is half a block south of Whittler's Workshop. They have great pizza but their garlic rolls are a must have. We stopped and got an order to eat for lunch. Nutritious, wouldn't you say?

Couldn't resist taking another Twilight shot.

Funny story about this picture. We're driving on Hwy. 101 in Southern Oregon. We got behind a truck towing a horse trailer going under the speed limit. Yuck. Even yuckier still - the horse in the trailer was definitely not horse-trailer trained. We were the unlucky targets for this horse until the next passing lane, which was enough for the horse to aim about three times!
Another dinner pick for tonight, and McDonald's was chosen. Guess who picked that one! We'd been driving all day and with only garlic rolls for lunch, McDonald's tasted great tonight.

We landed up at the Best Western in Crescent City. I'm on the computer, Syd is getting ready for bed, Erin is playing Nintendo DS, and Adam is playing with his toys. It's been a great vacation. I love Oregon. I love vacation. I'm ready to be home.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Up The Coast

Today we drove up Hwy. 101 to Tillamook. Cloudy, lots of trees and so much green, with fog and a little drizzle made for perfect Twilight weather. We listened to the Twilight Soundtrack CD. As I was driving, I even found myself looking for this:
I would've been content to see even this:
But, no such luck. Instead, we saw lots of these:

After all, we were entering dairy country. Our first stop was the
Tillamook Cheese Factory. We took the tour of the workers making the cheese, then proceeded to the sample table, conveniently located right before entering the gift shop. Got some garlic-chili cheddar cheese. Yummy. Had to get ice cream, too!

Cookie dough, marionberry pie, strawberry cheesecake, and blueberry lemon flavored ice cream

From there we stopped at the
Latimer Textile Museum. There were lots of quilts on display, and handmade items of all kinds for sale - quilts, knitted and crocheted items, as well as yarn and roving for sale.
At the entrance of the Textile Museum
As we were leaving the museum, we saw this alpaca and had to get a picture. Alpaca wool is very soft. Wonder how this little guy feels???
Tanger Outlet Mall in Lincoln City. We ate lunch at Momiji Express here. Each of the kids got to choose one place to go out to eat. Can you guess who chose this place? Here's a hint: It's Japanese and Chinese cuisine.
One more stop before going back to our place for the evening. We picked up the float that Erin made yesterday. So pretty - great job, Erin! Think you might want to do this when you're in Lincoln City? Check out their website here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Good Times

We're loving the coast! Made a quick trip to Radio Shack today to pick up a new camera chip reader to replace the one I mangled. Since I have two days' worth of pictures to post, I'll keep the writing to a minimum.

The weather has been great. The only rain we've had is a sprinkle tonight. Not too windy, either so we've been trying to do outdoor activities. Yesterday we visited the tide pools north of Newport.

I've just recentlly seen my first tide pools. I never knew that there could really be so much ocean life contained in them.

Yesterday it was sunny and with not much wind, it was warm enough to play on the beach. Lincoln City has what they call "Finders, Keepers." There are several glass floats made by local artists that are put out on the beach every day. If you find them, you can keep them. We looked as we walked on the beach, but no luck.
One Cool Crab - in Depoe Bay. Depoe Bay is supposed to be a great place to go whale watching. We looked for a while, but didn't spot any. Did spot a good place to eat lunch here, at the Chowder Bowl.

If you can't find a glass float on the Lincoln City beach, you can always make one, which is what Erin did today. This is the same place I went to last year to make mine. Can't wait to pick it up tomorrow after it cools to see what it looks like.

On the way to climbing all 114 stairs of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Didn't find any ghosts there, though. We were almost to the top when Adam claims he has "height-a-phobia."

I was really planning to do quite a bit of geocaching during this trip. We've only done two!!

The perks of being 18! Syd buys her first lottery ticket.

Don't know if I call this a perk or not, but she was able, if she wanted, to go in the back room of a magic/joke shop. We were also told she could go gambling at the casino north of Lincoln City. Sorry, Syd, probably not this trip. I mean, really, why bother if I can't take a picture? :-)
No story for this picture, I just really like it.

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