Saturday, January 31, 2009

It Never Hurts to Ask

I was at the grocery store last night and needed some milk. I noticed a gallon of hormone free whole milk sitting by itself on the shelf with a same day expiration date. It was not marked down. So I (well, I made my sister ask) asked the nice clerk working in the section if they would mark it down at the register since it expired that day. He said the front checker wouldn't mark it down, but he would. I was expecting him to mark it half off (it was $2.99 full price) but he gave it to me for $.50! We don't normally drink whole milk, but for $.50, I took it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First Band Shirt!

P.S. Can you see his curls? He just got out of the bath in these pictures and whenever his hair is wet, it curls! It dries curly, too, but gets straight as he lays on it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Technicolor Cake

My sister's 30th birthday is this week and I was planning to make ice cream cone cupcakes. Not anymore! This cake totally rocks! Go check out how to make it at The Omnomicon blog! The bonus part -- she made this using the Weight Watcher's 1 point soda cake recipe.

I think this may have to be a new birthday tradition around here!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Two Months Old!

Miles is officially two months old. He is not quite ready for college yet, but he is sleeping 5-7 hours straight at night. Unfortunately he sleeps from 8 PM on, but it is a start! Miles is a very happy and content baby when gas bubbles aren't giving him problems. He would be very happy spending all day in his swing, but we do get him out to play often. Miles isn't quite sure about his big sister, but he is a good sport when she holds him -- as long as Mommy stays close by.

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls

I have had this recipe for almost 10 years, but I just made it last weekend after a 4-5 year hiatus. I have no idea why it was on hiatus. These are awesome! This is a great make ahead recipe because the dough can sit in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls
1 cup warm water
2 packages active dry yeast (2.25 tsps) (not instant)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4-4 1/2 cups flour

Combine yeast and water in a large bowl. Let rest 5 minutes (you are proofing the yeast). Stir in butter, eggs, and salt (let the butter cool or you'll cook the eggs). Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time until dough is too stiff to mix. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 4 DAYS. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan. Turn dough out on to lightly floured surface. Divide dough in to 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece in to a smooth round ball and place balls in even rows in pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until rolls are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Brush with melted butter if desired.

I made a dozen rolls in a round cake pan and froze the rest of the dough for a later time. If I had made all 2 dozen, I'm sure they would have been devoured!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ditch the Store Bough Crackers

I made graham crackers yesterday. They were quick, easy, and delicious! Ella loves crackers, but the organic ones are pricey and the cheap ones aren't organic so I almost never buy them. These, however, are keepers. I found the graham flour in a small clear bag at Sunflower Farmer's Market, but I 'm sure they have it any "natural" grocery store. They did not have it at my Wal-Mart.

Homemade Graham Crackers
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup graham flour (whole wheat)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter (or margarine)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until smooth and well combined, scraping down the bowl to make sure the butter is not stuck to the sides.

Spread the graham cracker dough onto a piece of parchment or a silpat. (I used my silpat)

Lay another piece of parchment or wax paper over the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin, until about an 1/8-inch thick. The thinner you get it the crisper the crackers and quicker they will bake. (I had problems getting it as thin as I wanted, but I have issues with rolling pins. I divided the dough in to 2 parts -- there was way too much to fit on one sheet.)

Peel off the top parchment/wax paper and transfer the bottom parchment with dough onto a cookie sheet.

Bake for about 8 minutes and then turn the cookie sheet around and bake for another 5-8 minutes. The crackers should be golden brown.

Cool on a rack. Once the cracker is cool you can break up into pieces.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Ella officially turned 2.5 years old yesterday. I am hoping this means we have turned a new tide as we head towards 3! She has finally started to go to bed without a fight. I'm wondering if the new, comfy bunk beds are helping with that. Her old bed was a very old hand me down and not very comfortable. Whatever it is, I'm thankful for a quiet home no later than 8 PM every night.

Ella can count to ten (skipping five and six); knows that "E is for Ella"; knows a few shapes (triangle is her favorite); and is still working on the difference between blue and green. She knows and loves black, pink, and purple. Ella is starting to work on her letters and will randomly name them when singing or talking to herself.

Ella is a talker and a singer and she does both non-stop when she is awake. Her favorite toys are her dolls and her books. She will spend a lot of the day sitting on the floor looking at books. Recently she's started bringing books to us stating "Ella read to you", which is funny because she NEVER lets anyone read a book to her! Ever.

Ella calls Miles, "Miles Brother". When I tell her that her friend Ali has a brother, David, Ella flat out tells me "No, Miles Brother, not David." I don't think it helps that Miles' middle name is Xavier which sounds a lot like brother!

We've been trying to teach Ella her last name, but she gets VERY upset when you tell her she's Ella Gabel. She will insist that "No Ella Babel. Mommy Babel" (I think it's because her friends call me Mrs. Gabel).

Yesterday, Ella started telling me "Ella soaking wet" when she needed her diaper changed. While she goes on the potty every night before her bath, I'm waiting on potty training until Miles is a bit older (maybe when he's 10?? he ha). Hopefully she'll be all finished by the Fall!

Friday, January 16, 2009

On the Good List

When you're only 4 days old and you agree to wear a hat mommy knit for you in a picture, you are definitely on Santa's "Good" List!

Unfortunately, I forgot to get the photos put up on-line (and pay the extra fee!) so I had to scan this in. It isn't nearly as cute as a scan!

The Kids

Ella and Miles

Ella is in love with her little brother. She helps feed him, burp him, and entertain him. She consoles him when he cries and runs to get bottles and burp cloths when I need them. She calls him "Miles Brother" -- she hasn't quite grasped the concept of "brother" in that other people have brothers, too! Ella loves to hold Miles and likes it even more when I take pictures. She even stays still. It has become a morning ritual for her to hold him and for me take their picture. She loves it and lets face it, so do I!

Thanks, Aunt Sue!

Ella in a new outfit she received for Christmas from Aunt Sue, Uncle Aaron, Lissy and Dani. I had a hard time convincing her it's OK to wear a jacket as part of an outfit and not just outside!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

He is No Fool

I read that today is the 53rd anniversary of the passing missionaries Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Cathers, Nate Saint, and Roger Youdarian. Their story was made in to a movie, End of the Spear, a few years ago. Their story changed the way I do life.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
-- Jim Eliott

I couldn't let the opportunity to throw out a few links about them. I hope you follow the links and learn about their amazing lives.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Friday Night Knitting Club

Is it still a club if it is just me? My hubby has joined a small group on Friday nights which means me and the kiddos will be home alone. I am supportive of the decision, but not so thrilled about it being on Friday nights (our date nights have now changed to date afternoons!). Then I decided I would use the opportunity to watch movies and knit! I never have time to knit anymore so unless my arms are full of baby (which they probably will be for a while) I will be a knitting fool!

First up...a gift for a March birthday (wink, wink)! Or maybe the nativity pictured, which I have barely started!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


It's that day again. We said good-bye to Sarah, but fear not, we'll see her again in only 5 short months. We had an absolutely fabulous time, as usual!

Pizza Fondue

YUM! Boy is this a good recipe! I finally got out the Crock Pot Little Dipper and made Pizza Fondue, based on this recipe.

I used:
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
12 pepperoni, cut in to quarters
A small can of mushrooms
A few shakes of basil, oregano, and garlic salt
1 cup of cheddar cheese (I didn't know we were out of mozzarella)

Pour in the sauce and plug in the Little Dipper. Add in mushrooms, pepperoni and seasonings. Stir. Dump the cheese on top. Cover and let sit for 45 minutes to an hour.

This would totally rock with bread sticks. I'm just using crackers because I'm too tired to make bread sticks. I wanted to mix mozzarella with the cheddar cheese, but cheddar alone is great, too!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Farewell 2008

Buffalo Wings for the adults.

Roller skating, face painting, bounce houses, and graffiti for Sarah and Ella.

Bright lights for Miles.

New Year's Resolutions for Mom and Dad.

And we even made it to 10:30 PM before we went to bed!

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