Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sweet Sweet Sushi

The middle girlie, Allie, had her end of the semester party in Japanese class yesterday.  A year ago, I would have totally stressed if a kid came home and said, “Hey mom, I need a cool snack for class and it has to be Japanese.”  But now I have Pinterest , and I am set free to create amazing goodies for the classroom, that are the envy of all…..except for maybe the other mom’s who are getting ideas from pinning also. 
I found this idea on, but it wasn't really a recipe.....just a thumbnail of a rice krispy treat idea.  So,  I used my Aunt Julie’s famous Rice Krispy Bar Recipe, the thumbnail pic, and a little imagination, and came up with Sweet Sweet Sushi.

Sweet Sweet Sushi

·        6 cups crisp rice cereal
·        1 bag miniature marshmallows
·        ¼ cup butter or margarine
·        1 bag Swedish Fish candies
·        1 box Fruit By The Foot (fruit roll-up thingies)
In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave for 45 seconds.  Add the marshmallows and microwave for another 45 seconds.  Stir.  Microwave for another 45 seconds then stir until smooth.  Dump the crispy cereal on top of the mallowy goodness.  Stir together until combined. 
After the mixture has cooled for 10 minutes, butter your hands and mold fistfuls of the rice krispy mixture into the “rolls”, and place each one onto some buttered wax paper.  I was able to make 24 pieces.
Next, set a Swedish fish on the top of each roll.  Cut about a 3 inch piece of Fruit By The Foot and wrap it around the rice crispy roll AND the fish.  You can press the two ends of the fruit roll together at the bottom.  The whole roll is sticky enough that it holds itself together.  So easy, your kids can even do it!
Allie took them to her class and everyone LOVED them.  Most importantly, I retained my title as Pretty Much the Coolest Mom on the Planet.  Okay, maybe just the coolest mom in Japan!   

Linked up with:


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Valentine Photography

It’s a little early for Valentine’s Day I realize, but I am on a mission.  To be more specific, on my list of 101 Goals to Complete in 2012 is goal #17 – Send out Valentines.

So on a cloudy cold day with my camera settings on, 1/20 | f/5.6 | ISO 400 (if you care about that stuff), I took those girlies outside.  Then, I forced them to hold little cutout hearts COMPLETELY still while I took pictures…..of the hearts.

The girls whined about it, and I made one of them cry.  They would move or giggle and my camera would focus on them, and not the heart.  This ended up making me angry, and it wasn’t the happy-go-lucky photo-shoot that I had intended.  I was imagining something like skipping and laughing children with colorful hearts fluttering in the wind.  Not so much.

But finally, I got about 50 pictures of them and a few actually turned out how I wanted.  After a boosting, cropping, and text addition, my Valentines were complete.  Printed out on some glossy paper, you’d think an actual photographer took these.

And just in case the grandma’s want pictures of girls in which their faces aren’t all fuzzy, I had the girls hold up some bigger sentiments of love too.  We love you!!!

Goal #17 complete!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Best Chinese is in Japan

Our favorite place to drive,

In our little Daihatsu Move,
Is to a beer & gyoza hole-in-the-wall,
In which the music will make you groove.

The menu is in some Japanglish.
The paper lanterns so very cool.
I love the decorations,
And the food will make you drool.

They have Geisha spicy hot sauce….
JFK and Ms. Monroe.
If you come and visit us,
This is one place you will go.

I was supposed to write about breakfast,
And link this post up with Mama Kat.
But I had all these cool pics of our restaurant,
So what do you think of that?

Goal #7 of 101 goals in 2012…..Write a poem.

Mama’s Losin’ It


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pages of Faith

I have always been addicted to making lists, jotting down quotes, and sketching doodles.  I collect little notebooks and journals and fill them up with my goals and things I must do…..all handwritten with something like colorful gel pens, of course.
Beyond the grocery and bucket lists however, came a unique way for me to become closer to God.  One day I bought the prettiest notebook, hundreds of stickers, and a set of fine tipped Sharpie markers.  I began to write in this notebook……favorite bible verses, thoughts on God, prayers, and simply what was on my heart……and then I  began to decorate it with colorful stickers and Sharpie doodles.
I call it my Faith Notebook.  I love it.  As I thumb through the pages I realize it has changed my life.  It makes me laugh and uplifts my spirit.  I can vividly see prayers that have been answered and how my faith has grown.  Best of all, my girlies look through it and want to make one of their own.   I am hoping if I show you how, you will want to make one too. 
What you need:
·        A notebook or journal
·        Colorful things to write with
·        Stickers
Okay, really all you need is a notebook.  But gel pens and stickers will make you happy!  I bought a fancy spiral hardback notebook, splurged on the package of 80 fine tipped markers, and loaded up on hundreds of stickers.  Shhhhh.  Don’t tell my husband.

Getting Started:  You can write about anything you want in your Faith Notebook, but mine mainly consists of my favorite Bible verses.
Often times, I would write notes to myself about the verses or write down why they meant something to me, during a bible study.  The point is, to collect your thoughts so you can go back and remember what you have learned.
Making It Personal:  It would take eons to fill in a large notebook with just bible verses and although they are the main portion of a Faith Notebook, I just love how I made my notebook mine.  Here are some ideas that I used that will make your notebook uniquely yours.
*Be Creative*  Draw something.  Color it.  Use these illustrations to draw analogies about the Bible verses you have written down, or to explain what you are studying.

*Ask Yourself Questions* As you look back on your notebook you will be able to re-ask yourself the questions that you wrote down, and if you are anything like me, they will be questions that you need to ask yourself over and over. 

*Give Thanks*  Thank you Oprah, this is just like a gratitude journal.  Your journal can be a great reminder of what you have to be thankful for, no matter what situation you are facing.

*Pray* 1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to “Pray without ceasing.”  Praying is an open line of communication between you and God.  When you write your prayers down, you will actually be able to see that they have been answered when you look back on them.  It is AMAZING!

*Talk To Yourself*  In my notebook I am always bossing myself around.  I use my name.  Like, “Hey Lynnie!  Listen to this!” or “Lynn, you gotta remember that….”.   It’s like giving yourself a little pep talk during the messy game of life.

*Use Song Lyrics*  The words from a favorite praise song or hymn are a great way to add to your journal.  I sometimes get a little crazy and take lyrics from any old love song and give those words a “God” theme.  I think any song will work as long as you focus on Him.

*Repeat Yourself*  Many times I have written a Bible verse or special quote more than once in my journal.  Sometimes what I have written is applied differently to whatever situation I am struggling with at the time, compared to when I wrote it down the first time.   Sometimes it is simply a part of God’s word that I hold fast to over and over.  Either way, don’t God’s words and promises bear repeating again and again?

*Be Funny*  When I watch my girls reading through my journal I love to see them laughing about my silly drawings and analogies.  Being happy in your faith is a life altering experience.  Nothing will make you happier in life than an ongoing relationship with God.  Write about it and laugh!

So there it is, my Faith Notebook.  I have been working on it for over two years!  I am about half way through it now and it is one of my goals to finish this year. (Goal #65 of 101 Goals in 2012)  It is something I plan on continuing for the rest of my life and hopefully it will inspire someone to start one too.  Get ready…..your faith is about to grow!

Ramblings of a Christian Mom

Vintage Shabby Chicks

Saints and Scripture Sunday

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m always trying to make “new” recipes.  You know……something that no one else has the recipe for.  When people try what I make, I want them to be ahhhhhmazed by my flair and sophistication in the kitchen.

Who am I kidding?  I like to wrap stuff in bacon and go extra heavy on the caramel sauce.  Isn’t that what baking and cooking is really all about?

So yesterday I decided to go with an old stand-by.  A recipe I had long ago swiped from the lid of the Quaker Oats Oatmeal and tweaked up to my exclusive baking standards (i.e. extra chocolate chips and cinnamon).  For your eating pleasure I present to you……….

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
·        1/2 cup (1 stick) + 6 tablespoons butter, softened
·        1/2 cup granulated sugar
·        3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
·        2 eggs
·        1 teaspoon vanilla
·        1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·        1 teaspoon baking soda
·        1/2 teaspoon salt
·        1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon…just one if you like a little less cinnamon, but you really should just trust me on this
·        3 cups rolled oats
·        An ENTIRE bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Some people will chose to add raisins to their ingredient list.  I would personally rather stir in a couple of roaches…….gag.
Via Pinterest…..From
Moving on.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and set aside.

Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, then add to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. 

Scoop dough into rounded tablespoons and place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Lightly press down to flatten each dough ball. Bake for 9-11 minutes until done…slightly brown on the edges. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack and allow to cool completely. 
Makes about 3 dozen cookies. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sticky Quickies

Kids are finally back in school.  Hot coffee.  Warm puppy next to me. Quiet.

It’s wonderful.

But in the back of my head I know I should get up and go EXERCISE.

It’s so hard.  I want to eat.

So, in honor of not bailing on several of my 101 Goals for 2012 in just the first week of January, I just poured myself a protein shake and I will blog about one of my family’s favorite breakfast treats.  Sticky Quickies.  If I can’t eat it, I might as well dream about it.....right? 
I got this recipe from my good friend years ago.  I usually save it for company or holidays not because they are hard to make, but because they are so gooey good in your tummy, but not quite as good stuck to your behind and thighs. 

My friend noted on the recipe that “you’ll never slave over cinnamon rolls again” and that “they remind her husband of sex.”  She was right.  I have never made cinnamon rolls since and somehow the word “quickie” in a recipe is never overlooked by my husband either. 

*Note:  You will just have to deal with the pictures.  Try as I might, I cannot seem to get the full caramely, sticky, gooey, delightfulness, to present well in a photograph.  You will just have to trust me on this one.

Sticky Quickies

·       1 1/2 cup flour
·        2 pkgs rapid rise yeast
·        ¾ cup milk
·        ½ cup water
·        ¼ cup margarine or butter
·        ¼ cup sugar
·        1 tsp. salt
·        1 egg
·        1 ¾ cup flour
·        ¾ margarine
·        1 cup brown sugar
·        1 tsp. cinnamon
·        5 Tbls. White syrup
·        1 Tbls. Water
·        ¾ cup chopped nuts (optional....I don’t use them.)
Combine in a large bowl 1 ½ cup flour and yeast.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, margarine, sugar, & salt, till warm.  Pour into yeast and flour; add egg.  Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1 ¾ cup flour by hand.  Dough will be sticky and look like this.  
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Combine topping ingredients in saucepan.  Heat until melted.  Pour this into a 9 x 13 casserole pan.  Stir down the batter when it is finished rising & drop by large tablespoons onto topping. (Like this...about 5 or 6 rows of 4)
Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.   Cool one minute, then invert onto serving tray. (I use a cookie sheet with sides.) 
I also serve with a powdered sugar/milk/drop of vanilla drizzle for those in my family who like that….EVERYONE.
So, there it is.  Make it.  You’ll love it.  I promise.  Now I am off to go on a run!  Oh wait!  No way could I end this post without the picture that my husband decided to "stage"....because he was sure he could get a better photo than I could.  Thanks Honey!  Gotta love you!