A Two Week Break

Thursday, October 20, 2011

We're leaving for Alabama today!  Everyone is very excited and busily packing last minute things.....

Our traveling group has grown just a bit ~ now, Courtney and Jonathan are coming along as well!  That means that Courtney will be updating her blog on the road, so be sure and check that out often.

As for me....this blog will be quiet for the two weeks we're gone, so I'll be back later.  :-)


Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, October 17, 2011

Since we're dealing with some food allergies in our family recently....I've been experimenting a little with different kinds of flour in baking.   I started out by making chocolate chip cookies a few weeks ago using rice flour.  Unfortunately......the results weren't good!  They tasted fine; however the crumbly factor was a huge problem. 

But.  I tried a little different recipe today and I got much better results.  Josh and I spent the morning making cookies together, and it was a lot of fun!  He was actually very good and cooperated through the whole thing, so minus him sneezing all over the tray of unbaked cookies.....we did great!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 C. rice flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
3 T. applesauce
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips

Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside.  In large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy.  Add vanilla, applesauce, and eggs, mixing well.  Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375* for 9 - 11 minutes.

Although using butter GREATLY helped the cookies actually stay together, they are still prone to falling apart.  However, as I made tray after tray of these this morning, I found that if I left the cookies on the cookie sheet for about 20 minutes (or more!) after baking, they stayed together much better.  I think letting them cool down on the cookie sheet they were baked on helped them to kind of solidify.  They're still more fragile than "normal" cookies, but this recipe is outstanding for being gluten free.  :-)


The Big Four - Seven Years Ago!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What happens when you run out of pictures?  You dig into pictures from yeeeears gone by.  So - for the humor of it, here is a picture of us "original four" in fall of 2004. 

Courtney was 13, Jonathan was 9, David was 5, and I was big grown up stuff. (aka, 11.)  Check out the bedgraggled hair-do on me.  :-)  This was back when Jonathan and I were the exact. Same.  Height.  For like three years in a row.  And then......well, he grew way too tall!  So that's why people now think I'm his "little" sister. :-)

Nebraska autumns are just gorgeous - this photo was taken on our property of 21 acres.
So what do ya'll think?  Interesting, huh? 


Did You Know....

Saturday, October 15, 2011

......that Milk Duds go very well with World History? 

If you didn't, well, now you do know.  I have a lot of reading to do each day in History. And I needed something to help me though it.   Furthermore, did you know that it took me one and a half hours to get through both my History and this box of chocolates?  The word cccchhhheeeewwwyy comes to mind. (Sadly, the word 'cavity' does, too.) And lastly did you know that I was actually saving this box for our long road trip next week?  My self control was....non-existing.
 Did you know that Courtney is studying away, trying to prepare for her SAT test in just a few weeks?  Yep, she is.  She'll be my SAT teacher when I take it next fall - gulp.  The test looms before me like doomsday; I'm thinking the very word stands for "Sad And Terrible".   But thankfully I don't have to start studying just yet....I have a few blissful months left before the grueling study begins!!

 Did you know that this guy is cute enough to be a girl?  I'm serious!  He's just a doll.   Like I've said before, I think he could easily make it on a Huggies Diaper cover or something.  Recently he's become more aware of his "special hands".  He'll point to them and say, very excitedly with the cutest little grin ever, "Joshua two special hands!!"  And then we'll all clap and squeal with him and tell him how neat that is.  :-)  Precious!
Did you know.....oh gross!! Where did that picture come from?  Well, um, since you've already seen it, did you know that Isaac is in every way a typical boy, and loves to pick his nose?  If you didn't know it, well, you were better off than you are now.  Less grossed-out, that is.  Let me get a better picture for you.

 Oops, that wasn't quite what I was looking for either.    Check out the belly button.  Um.....did you know that I think he's going to be a gymnist in the coming years?  He's quite limber.

 Okay, there we go.  Much better.  Did you know that this little stinker calls me "honey" now?  Yep, aren't I lucky!!  He heard Mom call Dad "honey" one time, and now my new title is
"honey - Rachel".  It's hilarious!!  Isaac cracks me up - he is such a little comedian!

Hmmm.  Did you know that this is supposed to be Jonathan's school desk?  Only, it doesn't seem to be in use today.  The student is.......

....doing his schoolwork on the floor and trying to avoid having his picture taken.  *Sigh*  I've been having a difficult time getting a certain brother to let me take his picture recently.  Could you all tell him to let me get a good photo of him?!!

Well, all these new facts probably weren't quite as interesting as they could have been.  And....you may wish you hadn't learned some of them (aka the nose picking).  But.  This is real life.  (For us, anyway.)


Alabama Bound ~ WooHoo!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guess what?  I'm going on......ANOTHER TRIP!!!!

Yeah, I know.  You're wondering how on earth this girl has the time to go on all these trips.  But I have to say that all this vacationing we've done this year (previous Alabama trip, Florida trip, Nebraska trip, etc.) is really not typical for us.  We just usually don't travel that much, because most of us are still in school!

However, for some reason, this year has been the super-exception.  (Hooray for that.)  Dad has TWO weeks of vacation he gets to take, so a week from today, David, Dad, and I will be heading off on a very *exciting* road trip!!

So ~ since Courtney will be staying home on this trip (and keeping her laptop with her) this blog will be...uh....silent for about two weeks.  Hope you understand.  For now, I'm going to be keeping rather busy getting ready for this trip!  Looking very much forward to seeing this kind of scenery.  :-)

Now that's what I call beautiful!!!  Alabama, here we come!! 


Cars, cars, and more cars

Monday, October 10, 2011

Picture this if you will:  Just finished breakfast and chores.  Morning is getting on.  Seconds from sitting down for a good Chemistry lesson.  Ready to get on with my day.

"Rachel, will you play with me?"
"Just ten minutes?"

Sorry, but I can't resist that pleading little voice!  (Of course, once I agreed to ten minutes, that same little voice chimed in, "Fourteen minutes?")

So.  School was temporarily delayed and I decided to play cars with Isaac and Joshua.  Every time they beg me to come play with them, I find myself always having something else I'd rather be doing.  But.  I try to catch myself and remember that they won't stay little very long ~ and every day I have with them is a gift!  Trying to treasure every minute of cars and camping trips around the house that I can!  :-)

 Here they are posing with only part of their large car collection. 
 Both boys were in a good mood for pictures this morning.  I find they are more cooperative if you let them see the picture on the camera screen after it's been taken - they're always so excited to see!

 Each boy has their own little "tray" of cars, as you can see in the picture.  Sometimes they'll decide to trade and I'll overhear a nice little toddler business transaction:  "May I borrow semi, Isaac?"  "Yes you may, Joshua!"  Other times, unfortunately, I hear the beginnings of world war three.  But we're working on that.

 Favorite car!

 Can you guess?  Yep, favorite car!  And world class smile to go a long with it.  I love Isaac's smile ~ it's so precious, and when I happen to see other children with repaired clefts like Isaac, I just love it!  They have such a special little look that I am in love with.  :-)

 "Rachel, look at this!"  I asked Isaac if I should take a picture of this *incredible* feat, and he heartily agreed.  However I was HIGHLY warned by him not to bump it.  :-) 

I was again playing with my self-timer and in the process of getting a decent picture, chopped my own forehead off.  I failed to realized that I am taller than both these little guys!!!  But I love how Joshua looks in this one, so here it is.

Such a typical boy - drooling over a car and wearing his FAVORITE color shirt, orange!!  Well, he's normally a typical boy.  The times he isn't so typical would be the days where he's crazy in love with his baby doll.  (You can read about that here.)  Our pastor came over the other day and while Josh smiled and shook his hand.....Isaac was giggling on the sidelines, clutching his baby GIRL doll.  Ahem.  It was like, yes, he IS a normal boy...just dealing with some, uh, issues.....kind of embarrassing!!!!  But "Baby Isaac"  (his doll's name) seems to be a permanent part of our family, so we'll have to wait until he grows out of this one.

And that was my morning frivolity with the boys!  They loved it!


Your Name

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

                                                                             Psalm 46:1


Feelin' Sick

Friday, October 7, 2011

 Joshua woke up this morning not feeling himself at all!  After Isaac had already finished breakfast and was off playing, Josh was just sitting there, staring at his banana, looking terribly woeful.  :-(  Not his perky little self!  

Snuggling his special fuzzy blanket.   When I asked him if he wanted me to read him a story, he whispered "Yet".  (He doesn't like putting the "s" on the end of "yes".)  Quite a pitiful little sight!

But, I'm thinkin' being sick has it's merits.......he's gotten to watch his favorite video several times this morning.  :-)  I love pampering both little boys when they are sick ~ I always have to wonder how much (if any) special attention they received when they got sick in China.  They get plenty here, that's for sure!  Every little kid needs snuggles on the couch and ice chips to suck on when they're feeling bad!   Hopefully he'll be back to his normal self tomorrow.


More of "This" and "That"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hello fall.......hello cold mornings and fuzzy bathrobes.  Hello cloudy days, warm slippers, and delicious beverages like caramel hot chocolate.  Mmm, yes, I purchased this very box of instant hot chocolate packages yesterday ~ and it just seemed so autumn-ish to me.  I haven't even tried it but I know it's going to be highly addictive already!   This is part of what gets me up early every morning.  I like to get up early for my personal devotions.....but when the alarm goes off I do not instinctively spring out of bed with the Bible on my lap!!!  I've found that if I know there is a cup of something yummy like hot chocolate waiting for me, I am more likely to get up, and therefore more likely to find the time for personal Bible reading.   So I am loving getting 40 minutes of un-interrupted time with God in a perfectly quiet house each morning.....in my fuzzy bathrobe with a cup of steaming hot chocolate.  It works.

I've noticed on several blogs that a lot of you have been to see the new movie Courageous this week!  So glad people are supporting it.  Part of us went last weekend to see it and it was SO GOOD!  Sherwood Pictures has always made good movies but I think this one has to be their best yet.  I am usually not one to cry over books or movies....but this one had me nearly balling my eyes out one minute and then laughing so hard the next!  This wasn't a sad movie by any means; it was incredibly tender.  There were a lot of unexpected surprises in it and I loved how they portrayed the fathers turning their hearts back to their families.  If you haven't seen yet, I would highly recommend going.  It was so good that I'm going back to see it a second time this weekend!  

Surprisingly, Chemistry has gotten better.  I am beginning to follow this guy's complicated train of thought ~ it's kind of a mind bending book....definitely a challenge....but I'm getting it now.  Thankfully, Courtney has been helping me out a lot with it so that has made a big difference in my grades!  Law of Mass Conservation, anyone?  Does the Continuous Theory of Matter ring a bell?  What about that good ol' Periodic Table of Elements?  :-)


Finally, I thought this little clip would be an
appropriate note to end on.  Isn't it so true? 
Courtney gets a neat magazine that comes every other month called "Reminisce" ~ it's so fun to read the stories from our parents / grandparents era.  I guarantee you our grandparents (and especially great grandparents!) lived with a lot less than we have now.   Let's be grateful for what we have instead of griping about what we don't have.  Because the blessings far outweigh the "bad", I gurantee you!


At The Park Again

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm sure you all are getting tired of seeing park pictures.  But these were just so cute that I had to share.  By the way, you're not seeing me in any of these pictures because I don't go down slides.  My aversion to park equipment is due to the fact that I always always always get those painful little shocks whenever I go near it.  Slides, poles, railings, you name it.  Plus, I'm....well, 18?  So that kind of explains things.  (Right?)

I seriously think Joshua could make it as a model on Chinese Huggies diapers or something.  Isn't he just a stunning little guy?

I think this shirt should really say "I Will Be A Great Catch".  (Emphasis on the "will be".)  No doubt that he's a cutsie patootsie and totally the clown of the family.....but on the behavior side of things, he's, well.....Mr. Sassy Pants. Just warning you, future Mrs. Isaac!  I'm sure he'll grow out of it.  I am personally working with him to ensure that he stops biting people before he gets married.  :-)

Did I just say that?  *Sigh.*  I admit it.  Our family isn't perfect - no, far from it.  When you have toddlers that start crying out the Hallelujah Chorus with angry tears running down their cheeks whenever they get in trouble.....well, we're just trying to be categorized as normal! 


What My Day Was Like

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today was a "normal" day for me - (whatever normal means, anyway) - and I thought it might interest you to have a peek at it.  Because I know you all are incredibly interested, right?  Right! So here we go.

5:10 AM - My alarm goes off.  I stumble out of bed to turn it off and stumble right back in.  Unfortunately today I am not feeling particularly motivated to get up (mainly because last night was a laaate night) so I sleep in another 40 minutes. 

6:11 - Wake up and go for a bike ride by myself.  Some days I take my dog, Willie, and go jogging; today however, I was in the mood for biking.  I love taking my ipod along and enjoying the quiet morning.

7:00 - Get back home and go for a shower.  This is followed by chores, breakfast, family devotions.

9:30 - Dig into school. With vigor.  I'm trying to do large chunks of school work each day so I can graduate and be done with school this spring!  Looking more and more like it will happen - hooray! A late graduate, but a graduate nonetheless.  Class of 2012.  I need to get myself a
T-shirt or something.

1:00 - Mom arrives home from Costco / allergy shot appointment.  At this point we all get excited because she came home with chocolate covered raisins.....a very large tub of them.  We eat our lunch and then indulge in some - I try to ignore the fact that they're not healthy and likely to give me sugar diabetes, cancer, or some other awful disease.  :-(

2:30 - Courtney, Jonathan, and I go to Wal-Mart  for some afternoon shopping.  Jonathan went along mainly to get his "body building supplies" (protein powder and gymn shorts) while Courtney and I pretty much browsed.  I passed a mirror in the clothes department and I am not feeling pretty today.  Courtney and I looked at various make-up options and agree that it is woefully overpriced!!!  

4:30 - We get back home and here I am on the computer, working on my blog.  What I really should be doing right now is Chemistry, cleaning the house, etc.......but lo, here I am, typing away!  Mainly to let all of you know that I am still alive and am back to blogging again.  :-)  Right now, Joshua is at my arm, saying "Come on, Rachel, play a game!"  He's wanting me to play matching cards again......so this post is over! 


About This Blog

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will
make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP