Thursday, February 23, 2012

Recipe - Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

This recipe is one of our family's favorite cookies. I'm not even that huge of a peanut butter fan, but regardless of that, I am a big fan of these cookies! I got the recipe from a friend who got it from Our Best Bites. Everything I have tried from their website and cookbook have been awesome. These cookies take a bit more time than your regular chocolate chip, but believe me, they are worth it. The last couple times I made these I had extra frosting. I couldn't bear to throw it out because it's so yummy, so made a quick bath of chocolate cake mix cookies and topped them with the peanut butter frosting. The results were also delicious. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

1 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

filling:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup real butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugars together until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add in vanilla, and eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt and add to dough. Mix to combine. The dough will be very soft. Roll dough into 1/2 inch (or a little larger) balls, roll in sugar, and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Make indentations in the cookie dough with a fork in a criss cross pattern. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until puffed and set, but not browned. Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack. For the filling: beat peanut butter, butter, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth, if needed, add milk until desired consistency is reached. When cookies are completely cooled, spread a layer of frosting on one side and sandwich cookies together. Makes about 4 dozen sandwiches.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Lost It"

Brody loves tools, and so Handy Manny became a natural favorite of his. I checked out this movie from the library. Brody watched it once, happily, and then the disc mysteriously disappeared. Greg mentioned that he had seen Brody walking around with the DVD without its case one evening. We searched the house inside out, pulled out and dug through couches, looked behind shelves, checked all other DVD cases, with no luck. I showed Brody the case and asked him where he put the movie. His response, "Lost it." I renewed the video three times, and then regrettably accepted that our search and rescue attempts were in vain.

So I sucked it up, and paid the library the original price of the movie as well as a restocking fee. Two days later Brody came across the case again, and asked to watch it. I reminded him that the disc was gone, and that he had lost it. His response this time was, "Oh." He then walked straight into the office and up to the CD player. He hit the eject button, and out popped the infamous Handy Manny movie.

Today I visited the library once again to return our good friend Manny, and received a partial refund. Oh well, that's life right? In my mind I've weighed the lost money against all the free movies and books we've been able to enjoy thanks to the local library, and am sure we still came out on top. And if something like this ever happens again, I'll be sure to check the CD player.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

We just love Valentines Day in this family. I know it gets a bad wrap, but honestly, what is better than celebrating the love in your life with your family and friends?

Palmer had a valentines party at his preschool the day before Valentines Day. So he and I had the opportunity to make a valentine box. I have such fond memories of making valentine boxes with my mom as a little girl. She always went above and beyond when putting the boxes together, and mine was almost always the best in the class. It was great fun to relive that excitement with Palmer. Palmer and I constructed a robot out of a tin that held dishwasher tabs, toilet paper tubes, scrapbooking paper and tin foil. He loved it! He asked to sleep with it that evening. One of his preschool teachers was sick the day of his party, so I was asked to step in and help out. I work in the same facility that holds his preschool class, and I was already scheduled to work during the party, so I just worked preschool instead of the daycare that morning. Brody was able to come too. We all had a good time doing crafts and exchanging valentines.

For the actual day of love, Greg and I went on a date to TGI Fridays. We go there every Valentines Day since that was where we had our first date. We also love the restaurant, so tradition is a good excuse for us to make sure get our regular fix of TGI Friday's Jack Daniels sauce. We exchanged small token gifts. I gave him a case of IBC cream soda (his favorite) and decorated it and added the saying "SODAlighted you're my valentine." I also made him a frame on which we can write little love notes to each other with a dry erase marker. This craft was super easy, quick and cheap (print out here). He gave me a gift of service to redeem on a future day of my choice. He said he will take a day off work to me give a day off of being a mom and homemaker. His exact words were, "I get days off, why shouldn't you?" Best. Husband. Ever. I have grand plans of sleeping in, sweating it out at the gym, and scrapbooking the day away on my "day off."

Greg at 30

We had a low key celebration for Greg's actual (February 2) 30th birthday. It was just Greg, the kids and I, since we had celebrated so well earlier in the week at his surprise party. I made one of Greg's favorite meals - fried pork chops, mashed potatoes and green beans, and we had mandarin orange cake for dessert (so easy and delicious!). The boys and I gave him some equiptment and a game for his new Xbox 360.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eleven Tag

I was tagged by a fellow blogger. And since I don't have much to post about these days (since I seem to only be able to do the bare minimum lately thanks to round the clock morning sickness), I was more than happy for some blogging material.

Here's what I have to do (and 11 other lucky readers):

1. Post the rules
2. Share 11 random things about myself
3. Answer the 11 questions from the post in which I was tagged
4. Create 11 new questions for my tagees to answer
5. Tag 11 people

11 Random Things About Me:

1. If I am stressed, sick, sad, or tired, a warm bath is the answer to my woes.
2. I attend a Zumba classes 2-4 times a week. And my favorite spot to be in Zumba is right up front, because if I know everyone else is watching me, I will push myself as hard as I can and get the best workout possible.
3. I am more often than not silently correcting a persons grammar when talking with them.
4. I have only sworn purposefully twice in my life, and both times it was the word "a**hole" and both times it was directed toward the same person.
5. I love rollercoasters.
6. Greg and I can not come to an agreement on a boy's name for this new baby coming into our family. We've had girls names ready since before I was pregnant with Palmer.
7. My dream vacation would be to go on a cruise. I love the idea that it is all inclusive. I am frugal/cheap (take your pick) and I know with a cruise, I could totally relax and just enjoy everything without worrying about money.
8. My favorite board game is Loaded Questions.
9. I am terrified of spiders, and have been known to trap them under bowls when Greg is not home, so he could deal with them at a later time. Lately, my two and three year old, more often than not, are quite willing to kill the pesky critters for me.
10. I am loving the newest season of The Office. I didn't think it would be very good without Steve Carrell, but I happy to be wrong. Ed Helms is brilliant as the new boss.
11. I consider myself a pretty competent cook/baker, but for some unknown reason, I can not properly bake a potato. I've had success maybe two or three times, but usually the attempts end in failure.

11 Questions Asked of Me:

1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Still happily married with three or four children (right now I'd say three, but anytime I'm not pregnant I would have said four). Hopefully moved into a new home, a home still within our ward boundaries because we love our ward, and this would surprise most people, actually love living in West Valley. Possibly, I would be teaching high school English, if I later decide to complete my student teaching. And if I'm really dreaming big, I would have a book published by this point in my life.
2. What was your favorite part of school? I am a school nerd, and have actually always really liked school. But my favorite part, honestly, would have to have been the socializing aspect.
3. How did you meet your significant other/spouse? My father spoke at our singles ward the first week Greg attended. Greg went to talk to him afterwards in the parking lot. My mother was in the car waiting, and decided to invite Greg over for dinner that night "to meet her two beautiful daughters." Yep, that's really what happened. And it wasn't that out of the ordinary for my mother.
4. I didn't like my name and wanted to change it when I was a kid. If you could have picked out your own given name, what would it have been? I didn't like my name as a child either. At the time I really like the names Dabney and Sunday; my Barbies always had one of these names when playing dolls with friends. Now I like my name a lot, and would not choose to change it.
5. What is your absolute favorite movie (if you can't pick just one, pick a genre)? I love Moulin Rouge. I love the singing, the romance, the artistic set design and costumes, and of course, Ewan McGregor.
6. What motivates you when you have the least amount of motivation? A to do list always has a way of getting me going on projects that need attention.
7. Is there a famous person (not necessarily a celebrity) you admire? And why? I really love President Hinckley and his wife Marjorie. They were so endearing, kind, and profoundly insightful. And to top that all off, they had such a sweet, gentle humor about them. Joy and the light of Christ shown in their eyes. They will always hold a special spot in my heart.
8. Who was your favorite school teacher and why? My fifth grade teacher Mrs. Rhineheart was my favorite teacher because she helped me discover my love for creative writing. She had at least a half hour of writing time scheduled each and every school day.
9. What subject in school did you struggle with the most? Succeed in? Math has always been a struggle for me, as well as mathematical sciences like Chemistry and Physics. English and Language Arts has always come easily to me.
10. What is your favorite thing about yourself? I take pride in the things I am able to create. Whether it be food, scrapbooking, crafts, or the written word. I am by no means the most talented person in these areas, but when I look at something that I've poured myself into, and I am satisfied with the results, I am a happy girl.
11. Have you been to a foreign country (other than Canada -- I just don't consider that a foreign country. :) )? And if so, where -- and why? I have not. And isn't that just sad? I know I need to make vacationing more of a priority, as I have said in the past. Growing up, I was always disappointed that parents didn't take us places like other families. I know we didn't have much money for traveling, but Greg's family didn't either and still found ways to enjoy family vacations. I still am struggling with how to fit this into our budget when so many other expenses come up that seem more pressing and necessary.

Questions for 11 Lucky People (should they choose to accept this challenge):
1. How do you relieve stress?
2. What would be your dream vacation?
3. What is your favorite quote/saying?
4. How many hours of sleep do you need a night to function well?
5. What is your favorite dessert?
6. What will you ask for as your birthday gift this year?
7. Do you have a nickname, and if so how did you get it?
8. What is best and the worst book you have ever read?
9. What is something you would like to learn how to do?
10. What celebrity do you have a crush on?
11. What past job did you enjoy the most?

And finally, the 11 Lucky People I choose to tag are...
1. Greg (ha, we'll see if I can get him to do this on here. After all this is a family blog, and I shouldn't be the only one posting)
2. Sariah
3. Jenn
4. Adrienne
5. Lisa
6. Becca
7. Crystal
8. Kristina
9. Martha
10. Becky
11. Rachel

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine Tulle Wreath

My very cool friend Ces taught me and a few other women how to make super cute tulle wreaths. This time around, we all made a Valentines wreath since the big day of love is just around the corner. It was pretty easy to put together. It took a couple hours, but it was a couple hours spent doing mindless work in the company of good girl friends and yummy treats, so in my book, definitely time spent well. I think it came out really cute.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Friendly kids

I love that our boys are so friendly and outgoing. They really do make friends everywhere they go. Whether it is the woman in line behind us at the grocery store, a random child at the park or an old man sitting at a nearby table in a restaurant, Palmer and Brody are more likely than not to point to that person and tell me that he or she is their friend.

A ward member told me that Palmer was the only child who attempted to play with her special needs twins in nursery. That made my heart so warm and happy.

And a couple weeks ago, I took the boys to a play place. It was there that they ran into a five or six year old Hispanic boy. Palmer quickly asked him, "Do you have a mom, a dad, and a Brody?" And a few minutes later he told the same boy, "You look like Diego from Netflix." And to Palmer and Brody's utter delight, the little boy answered, "My name is Diego." The little boy's mother then called him to eat. Brody continued to call out, "Hi Diego!" with every step he took in the softplay, and would continue the call until little Diego replied with his own, "Hi!"