Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Healthy" No Bake Cookies

My favorite combination is Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Perhaps it's a trait passed down from my grandpa who eats PB with EVERYTHING (not kidding). My favorite candy bar is Reese's and my favorite cookie is the peanut butter, chocolate, oatmeal no bake goodness. However, the recipe that I own calls for 4 CUPS of sugar and loads of butter. Yummy and yucky all at once. So I decided to replace the sugar with honey and decrease the amount of butter. The first few attempts were a flop, but I FINALLY have a combination that... is... fantastic. Of course, I had to share it with you.

My "Healthy" No Bake Cookies
I'm going to call them "healthy" because it helps me justify 5 in one day. ;)

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Yields approximately 2 Dozen

  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 4 Cups Oats
  1. Melt Butter over Med-Low heat.
  2. Add PB and Honey till melted - stir continuously.
    This Pampered Chef "push-up" measuring thingy is by far the best kitchen measuring tool ever invented. Especially for sticky goodies like honey and peanut butter, just push it out and scrape it off.
  3. Add cocoa, vanilla, and milk - mix well.
  4. Stir in oats till well coated.
    Look at all that edible goodness in the pot! Yummmm.
  5. Scoop desired cookie size onto wax paper - place in fridge or freezer till solid. 
    Putting them in the freezer is a -wonderful- summer treat.

  6. Eat.
  7. Enjoy.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Brielle is 9 months old!

We call her our little inch worm. She has decided that she doesn't really care about crawling, she enjoys sitting and playing, but if she eyes something she wants (and I mean, right now) she will inch her way over to it rather quickly. At first her inch worming looked absolutely hilarious with her arms back, chest down, butt up, feet planted and inching forwards, but now she uses her arms "army crawl" style.

She is an innovative little booger. She is learning to use her thumb and pointer finger to pick up little pieces of cheerio I put on her tray, but it wasn't working out in her favor so she decided to use her mouth instead. OH MY GOODNESS! Kyle and I belly laughed as we watched her pick up cheerio's with her tongue! I was too late in grabbing my camera, but I giggle just thinking about it.
Trying so hard to pick up the little pieces of cheerio's!
She becomes obsessed with the oddest items (it used to be an egg separator) but we've moved on to a comb. With a deep burrowed frown on (like the above picture), she holds items in her hands and studies them.

She's grown into aaaaaaa (drum roll) size ONE shoe! Do you know how hard it is to find a size 1? I went online and I literally looked everywhere: Target, Wal-Mart, The Children's Place, Babies-R-Us, &etc. etc. I finally found a pair and when it came in the mail I oooooo'd and awwwwwww'd over the little sandles for a long time. They are so stinkin' adorable, especially on her tiny little chubby feet. She likes them because that sparkly flower on the top looks yummy.

When she laughs she nearly tips over backwards!

She's pulling herself up.

She bounces along to music.

She has always been a daddy's girl, and when he comes home from work it's more than evident she's excited to see him with her giggling, bouncing, and what we've referred to as grunting. If he doesn't pick her up, it breaks her heart and she will let him know. I keep saying I need to get it on video.
Look at her look at him. :)
Any time Poppy comes to visit she has a good time, especially because he likes to show her off.

She loves her Marley and Quigley (Quigley just licks her to death. Gah! How do you break a dog of that?!) and Marley is always wanting to share his toy with her, Just throw it Brielle, just throw it! She's just interested in eating it. Marley also has this weird obsession with her yellow rubber duckies. She has a plethora, so we finally gave him one so he'd leave her alone when she had one in her hands. LOL.

My mom found a hiking carrier for $20 at a garage sale (what a steal)! We put it to use when we walked around Kyle's family farm. She fell asleep. It doesn't look comfy, but she... was... out.

When we take her to her bath we're always commenting on our "NAKED BABY!" and all her side and back rolls.

She found the dog dish and this was the result...

When we went to Sears we checked out the 3-D TV's and it was hilarious to watch her study them. She'd lift her hand and reach out for what seemed to be coming out of the screen or dodge what she thought was coming at her. Plus, those glasses alone just cracked me up.

This picture cracks me up too. Oh, hahahaha, the hat.
So much for spreading out the blanket for her to sit on, haha. Notice the comb to her right? ;)
When she sits in the stroller, she leans forward as far as she can to look around as she talks and squeals. It's so cute. She loves it outside.

Kyle and I don't remember life without her, she's changed it so much in the last 9 months, but we wouldn't trade it for the world. We love her so very, very much.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Shout Out to My Dad

With this last weekend being Father's Day I want to give a SHOUT OUT to my dad. He's a pretty incredible individual and let me tell you a few reasons why...
  1. He loves the Lord and will tell us about the saving grace of Christ daily, and you too if you met him!
  2. Not a day has passed in all my years of life that my dad hasn't told me he loves me. The moment I'd walk out the door growing up I'd hear my dad yell across the room, "I love you Becky!" He'd whisper it in my ear or give long hugs that let me know how much he loved me. He'd always tell his kids that he understood the love God must have for His children because of the love he has for us, and that love, he'd say, is immeasurable.
  3. My dad taught us the value of hard work. He modeled it in his own life and expected it from us.
  4. He also taught us the value of the simple things in life, like a meal around the table (with lots of laughter, of course) and time around a campfire gorging ourselves in smores.
  5. He is smart! He was a pastor, the chief firefighter in Arkansas, a first responder, a computer/technology guru (he owns his own business repairing computers and installing wireless internet service), and I think I'd run out of room if I listed everything he has done or can do. (Seriously.)
  6. I've watched him endure some of the hardest things a person can go through and he came out of each event a better man concreted in his faith and hope in Jesus Christ.
  7. Whenever there was a tragedy my dad was the first one I went to because he knew just what to say and how to inspire those around him. The funerals he lead were some of the most God glorifying, hopeful events I've ever attended. I was so proud to know him when I saw him handle the death of my friend Brian Pancau with gentleness, respect, and compassion, not only to Brian's family, but to his friends as well. He briefly spoke at the Middle Park 2002 graduation encouraging Brian's fellow graduates to celebrate their accomplishments, and that there is hope in the salvation of Jesus Christ. (Brian passed away in a car accident on his way to his graduation practice the day before he graduated from Middle Park High School in 2002.) When I found out the news that Brian had passed, my dad was the first person I called.
  8. He loves his grandchildren. Lots. He is their Poppy. The way I see him with them, makes me love him that much more. "Beware" if you see him at a restaurant with his grandbabies, he will walk right up to your table just to show them off. I love it.
  9. He is generous. Even if he had nothing, he'd do whatever he could to give us everything we needed and then some.
  10. He is encouraging. I don't remember being ridiculed for my grades or my performance in sports (for example). He would always say something like, "Why don't you try this next time?" or "Have you thought of doing this?" or "I'm so proud of you!" or "Don't give up! Keep working hard!" and especially, "No matter what, I will always love you."
And that love he shows day in and day out, well, I can't think of a better place to end.

His growing family. This was when we added Hunter. (Haha, I say "we" but Mel did all the work.)

Dad, Kyle, Matt (the men in my life)

Kyle & Me, Matt & Sam (Matthew & Alexi), Justin and Mel (Gary & Hunter)

Celebrating Dad's 50th at a Rockies Game!

Poppy with Briella Bean

When he gave me away, he had the sweetest speech, it made me bawl like a baby.

Poppy with his Alexi, probably telling her how pretty she is!

Hiking up Adams Falls in 2012. Poppy, me (prego with Brielle), Justin (with Hunter), Mel, Kyle (Gary is hidden behind him), Mandy & David

I could not find a recent picture with him and all four of his kids (spouses and grandchildren included). We are getting together this summer, so that will have to change! (Especially with all the new additions!)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fathers Day 2013

Last year on Father's Day I gave Kyle this little onsie I made:
"Daddy & Me Cheering the Huskers to Victory!"
My family will forever tease Kyle about being a loyal Husker fan, so I couldn't resist adding fuel to his fire by giving him something to show off his daughter wearing Husker pride! I can't believe that was a year ago already! It was a 0-3 month onsie so it's long ceased to fit Brielle, but I had to share these pictures.

This year's Father's Day was a flop. Kyle's gift didn't get here in time (I ordered it online) and he was sick. Not to mention, Brielle was coming down with something and was not in a good mood. At first I was super sad about it, but I realized that we can celebrate Kyle being a wonderful father any day of the week and multiple times if we want too! So when I get his gift in the mail and they get over whatevers bothering them we will celebrate Kyle.

We have so much to celebrate!

He is a wonderful father who works hard to provide for his family. Every day he tells us how much he loves us. Brielle's favorite time of the day is when Daddy walks through the door. She gets so excited! (I seriously need to get it on video.) I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Brielle loves her daddy. I can't wait to see their relationship grow and develop. He is kind, compassionate, and the ultimate leader who understands the importance of putting Christ first not only in his own life, but in every relationship. He is an inspiration to me. God has blessed us with an amazing man.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Week of Projects: Day 5

Day 5 was not a good day. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

First, Kyle came down with something. He does not feel well and so I talked him into resting today (it didn't take much convincing).

Secondly, Kyle's projects did not go as he hoped. His frustration level was at an all time high. I felt so bad for him and there was absolutely no way I could help. I did get a picture of the vent he installed... otherwise I tried to stay out of his way and avoided pictures and any talk of "how are things going?"

Thirdly, the one way I could help him (food) flopped. I tried pizza in a crockpot (Pinterest) and it... was... terrible!

The day was so bad that Kyle reminded me, "If I ever get the urge to remodel again, remind me of this day!"

Okey dokey.

On the other hand, I did get a lot accomplished in painting the trim. The only part I could not accomplish was the parts I couldn't reach (Kyle was using the ladder).
Porch progress...

Finished back porch!

...at the end of the day...
Why it needed to be done, yesterday!

Right now our week of projects were semi successful. I'll finish the trim next week. Kyle gutted the bathroom, installed a new microwave, completed the electrical work for the vent in the bathroom and other misc. outlets, completed the necessary framing in the bathroom, dug out sticker plants and created a lovely flower garden in the front and back yards. When I list those things it doesn't sound like much, but each project was a lot of work and took a lot of time. This week flew by without being able to check "bathroom complete" off our looooooong TO DO list, which looks like this:
  • Office shelves above desk
  • Office trim
  • Downstairs bathroom trim
  • Downstairs bathroom shelves
  • Install door in downstairs bathroom
  • Rip out "closet" in downstairs hallway
  • Lay carpet on the stairs & hall way to bathroom (basement)
  • Install new ceiling fan in Living Room
  • Install new ceiling fan in our bedroom
  • Vent covers in our bedroom
  • Upstairs Bathroom (plaster, mud, paint, new floor, install vanity, mirrors/cabinet, toilet, &etc.)
I'm going to stop there... yes, the list is longer... (sigh)...

Today Kyle is down for the count. I wish he could take another week off for a much needed VACATION vacation. We can't afford to go anywhere, but he seriously needs something, even if it's disappearing in the woods with our tent and a cooler full of beer. Pray for him that he gets better and keeps his sanity, especially when he goes back to work on Monday.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Fly Dance

I had to take a break from painting and various chores to share with you my irritation with our fly population. They're out of control! We always buy this fly catcher thingy and it works great, but it still doesn't make all the flies disappear. I can only imagine how bad they'd be if we didn't have it...

The picture shows a disgusting amount of dead, stinky, maggot swarming amount of flies...
Yes... it needs to be cleaned out. Any takers?
The problem is that I'm doing projects outside like watering my flowers, or weeding, or painting trim or hanging laundry and every time I stand there doing one of these projects I do what I've now referred to as "the fly dance" and it goes something like this (I'm not sure if there's a tune, it's just how I picture myself "dancing" away the flies)...


Shake your right leg here...
Shake your left leg there...
Shake your right leg in the air...
Stomp your feet and yell if you dare!

Swipe your face here...
Swipe your arm there..
Swipe your ear too..
Swipe at your hair do!

Shake, Shake, Shake...
Shake your arms...
Shake your elbows...
Swipe, Swipe, Swipe!

Shake your right leg here...
Shake your left leg there...
Shake your knees all about...
Stomp your feet and try not to pout!

Wiggle your toes...
Wiggle your nose...
Wiggle your fingers too...
Do what you gotta do!

Shake, Shake, Shake...
Shake, Shake, Shake...
Shake your booty...
Shake your booty...


Yup, the fly dance rhyme is ridiculous! And I'm sure that's how I look - ridiculous! Stupid flies.

A Week of Projects: Day 3 & 4

These last two days have been a blur. This is the first time I've had a chance to sit down and blog, so I'm combining Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday Kyle finished gutting the bathroom. (WooHoo!)

And he installed a new microwave in the kitchen. He was thoroughly disgusted with the instructions, saying that they were horrible, BUT, he got it up and it works like a charm. It only took us 4 minutes to warm up roast, potatoes and carrots! With our old, old, antique microwave it would've taken 2 minutes (rotate) 2 minutes (rotate) 2 minutes (rotate)...  Plus we would've had HOT spots and cold, cold, icy spots. This new microwave is all fancy shmancy!
Old microwave before I painted it and the cabinets.
Old microwave after a touch of paint...
NEW microwave (with lots of buttons)!
I was working on painting the trim around doors and windows. I'm liking the turnout! I just wish it was a faster job. It's going to take three coats (at least).

I can't wait to show you all the before and after pictures of the house once this is done. I think it's going to look really nice (which means I need to hurry up and hit "publish" so I can get to work on it while Bean is still sleeping!). If she's not sleeping I rotate her between a sand box, her jumper thingy, and a tub of water (always last, can you imagine going from the tub of water to the sandbox? lol). By the end of the day she is a dirty dirty mess.

Most of the time these "stations" entertain her, however, there are times the only thing she wants is my attention. I'm okay with that, I knew that having children makes completing a "to do" list twice as long. It's impossible to work at the rate I worked before I had her. BUT, look at her smile and tell me it isn't worth it? :)

Kyle was disappointed with how Wednesday turned out. He was hoping to have sheetrock in place (or at least some of it) but realized that we needed to make a supply run. Since we live in the boondocks, a supply run could take all day. So he worked on one of the plethora of projects that need completed (like the microwave) and made our supply run Thursday morning.

Sure enough the supply run did take all day. So I felt like it was a wasted day, but Kyle told me later that he needed a sanity break, even if it meant a trip to the Menards in Cheyenne and lunch at Sonic. When we got home he worked on a few projects here and there. Like finishing the front flower bed...
You can't really tell in the before and after pictures how much better it looks! So crisp, so weedless, so clean! We were over run with sticker plants and weeds galore. It was a needed project that took a lot of time and effort.
I painted some more and Kyle made it easier to get to stuff in his garage that is over flowing with garage sale items and remodeling supplies so he doesn't lose his mind as he works (quite frankly I don't blame him, I mean, imagine making dinner with an unorganized, messy kitchen?!).

Progress is slow and time flies by (it's already FRIDAY! Nooooooo!), but if you're remodeling that's one of the rules: (#4) It always takes longer than you originally thought it would. (sigh.) Fact of life.