Archive for December, 2010

Two Dogs


Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

It is funny how we end up where we are sometimes.

Ries always said we could either have one kid and two dogs or two kids and one dog. Here we are now with two very large dogs and 1.5 kids.

Pullo, on the right, loves Wicket, on the left, though he would never admit it. She is a complete pest: eats poop, never listens (except about once a day to remind us that she can in fact behave when she wants to do so), does not come to her name unless she feels like it, eats the branches off the pear tree, chews things that are not hers, and generally makes a nuisance of herself. She is a sweet, if infuriating, dog.

She is going to obedience class in January to learn how not to be so independent and pigheaded.

Regardless of her flaws, we are glad that we have another big dog in our family. Pullo has someone who will be almost his same size and who likes to play as much as he does.

Large dogs are great, though it does mean surrendering our bed during the day to them and one of the couches all of the time. They are great at warming up the bed before it is time for us to go to sleep. Our house is never quite free of dirt or dog hair, but we are always happy in it.


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I was looking for something new to make for my family’s Christmas Baking Day Extravaganza and I choose these Pumpkin Cookies. They are light, fluffy, and wonderful. They are definitely going to be added to the annual repertoire. The original recipe I found here. I adjusted the glaze and changed some of the instructions.

I lightly glazed them, though you can use more glaze if you prefer. They should be stored in an airtight container with wax paper in between the layers to avoid sticking.

Pumpkin Cookies

    2 1/2 c. flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 c. butter, softened
    1 c. pumpkin puree
    1 egg
    1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla until smooth. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets. The cookies will spread a little but stay small and puffy.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges are firm. The tops will just barely turn a light brown the moment they are done. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes then remove to wire racks or newspaper to cool completely.

Drizzle glaze over cookies, recipe below.


Whisk 2 cups powdered sugar, 5 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in small bowl until smooth. Decrease or add milk to achieve desired consistency. Line the cookies up side by side on newspapers or cooling racks and use whisk to drizzle the cookies lightly. Allow the glaze to dry then store or eat right away.

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Gideon and Santa


Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

We went to see Santa for the first time. Gideon was great and told him he wanted a water gun and a guitar. I think the elves have been working on them.

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A long overdue peek at us

The Christmas season has been fun this year with Gideon. We have had some laughs explaining Christmas stuff to him. For the longest time he called the Nativity Scene the Activity Scene. In his defense, it was probably a pretty active place despite the lyrics of Silent Night. It has been special for us to be able to talk about Jesus with him. It is also hilarious to follow his logic. We went from a discussion yesterday about Jesus in the manger, to Jesus being hungry, to what babies eat, to how momma animals and people feed their babies. He asks a lot of complex questions. Regarding the reindeer and Santa he asked, “Why does Santa use reindeer?”

I have had a hard time explaining why we do not tell people what their presents contain. Gideon is so excited about it he does not understand why he can not tell right away! He leaned over to Ries the other night and said with his finger in a shushing motion, “We got you some surprise legos!” Not such a surprise any longer. I have resorted to not letting him help wrap or see presents to protect the contents from their recipients.

We have taken to calling the soon to be new arrival, Brother, at Gideon’s request. We are again keeping the name a secret, though we have yet to decide on any one name in particular. We do have a short list. Feel free to send us suggestions. Gideon was disappointed that Brother did not have presents under the tree because, “Everyone needs a present!” he said with dismay. I told him we could buy Brother something and wrap it, if he wanted.

I am already 25 weeks pregnant and I can hardly believe it, except when I look down at the huge belly I have grown. We are in no way prepared for Brother yet, but we will start in earnest in January with house prep, supply prep, and let’s not forget birth prep! It is different, being pregnant the second time, already knowing what to expect and knowing most things are a huge unknown. Chasing a 2.5 year old with a huge belly and decreasing lung capacity has also been exciting in its own way.

Life continues and we are exceedingly blessed.

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Recipe: Florence Greeners

This space needs a good update. It is coming soon. Really.

Today, this recipe is from my sister. It is a recipe with a funny name which she acquired when she got married from her mother-in-law. When my brother-in-law was growing up, they had had a family friend, named Florence Greener. She always brought these bars by around the holidays and eventually she shared the recipe. My brother-in-law’s family did not know what the original recipe was called so they just called the bars Florence Greeners.

They are similar to 7 Layer Bars but they have two less ingredients. These are simple, only require five items, and are delicious! Thank you Florence Greener, where ever you may be.

Florence Greeners

    11 rectangle graham crackers
    1 c. shredded coconut
    1 c. whole pecans
    6 oz. milk chocolate chips
    1 can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350.

Place graham crackers in a large zip top plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Chop the pecans to desired size by hand. My sister says that they are better hand chopped than bought chopped because the size of hand chopped varies and adds texture.

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until combined.

Place mixture into a greased 9×9 glass pan, smoothing out to make it flat.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.

Allow to cool in the pan, then cut into bars.

Happy Holidays, from Florence Greener to you!

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Recipe: Playdoh

I had to make playdoh for Gideon’s class and it turned out ok. I think I will still buy playdoh already made unless I need a large quantity of one color. This recipe makes a large batch, plenty for sharing.


    3 c. flour
    1 1/2 c. salt
    3 c. water
    1 tbl vegetable oil
    1 tbl cream of tartar
    food coloring to desired color

Add all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir until combined. Cook over medium low, stirring occassionally. Cook until the playdoh comes away from the sides and become less grainy and more smooth in texture. Cool and then place in an airtight container or baggie.

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