Friday, August 19, 2011

Christie's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I met Christie about 6 years ago. John and I were brand new to Oklahoma and we were trying to get settled quickly, which for us meant finding a church home. The second Sunday we visited First Baptist we decided to try a Life Group (they don't call it Sunday School any more, but shh! sometimes I still do :o). We were sitting in a large circle of 20 somethings and I spotted her directly across from me. I tease her now, saying that it was in that moment that I decided we were going to be friends and she really didn't have much choice in the matter. After class she and her husband, Matt, invited us to lunch and after that, you could pretty much always - ALWAYS - find us together. It helped that Matt and Christie had a daughter who was just 4 months younger than Will. Baylee, or LeeLee, was Will's very first friend. We didn't really give them much choice in the matter now that I think about it ... we were always at the gym, Target, the mall, the park, church, each others house, you get the idea. As it normally goes in a military town, her husband got orders to PCS and our daily visits came to a too quick end. Fortunately, they have moved close to our parents both times they've moved since living here, so we've been able to see them at least once a year. We're blessed to have that sweet kind of friendship that picks up right where it left off the last time we were together. I wish you could meet Christie - you're going to think I made her up, but this is how I see her. She's always smiling or laughing, her house is spotless - at all times, she is crazy in love with her husband, and I'm not sure where she keeps her cape - but she is definitely supermom. She's an encourager and a wonderful listener, she's not judgmental but she's firm in her beliefs, she loves life and she seeks to make things better for everyone around her. And she can cook, oh she can cook. Anything she makes is just delicious. Told you you'd think I made her up! Mostly she cooks healthy food, BUT she is famous for her chocolate chip cookies. They are the best cookies I've ever had, and I'm kind of a connoisseur of chocolate chip cookies :o). I did ask permission to post her secret family recipe and she agreed. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Oh, the kids and I got to stay with Christie and the kids for a couple of days while we were on our "Tour of the Families" this summer and guess what was waiting on the counter when we arrived - a plate full of chocolate chip cookies. Love that girl!

Christie's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c shortening (Crisco)
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp water (this is the KEY step!! I'm serious!)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 c flour
1 heaping tsp baking soda (heaping is important too)
1 tsp salt
2 c chocolate chips

Cream together shortening, sugars, vanilla, and water. Add the eggs and then the flour mixture (flour, salt, and baking soda) and mix well. Stir in 2 cups of chocolate chips. Drop by spoonful (I use the Pampered Chef medium cookie scoop) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 minutes (soft and chewy) or 10-12 minutes (a little more crunchy). Allow to cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to cooling rack. Try not to eat all immediately - I dare you! :o)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School ... 2nd Grade Style

Here it is, the first day of second grade. It has arrived with much less fanfare than the first day of kindergarten or the first day of first grade. Usually I would be adamant about getting back into our school routine ... going to bed early, getting up early, making lunch the night before, getting the clothes all lined up ... at least one week in advance. This summer has gone by in what seems like a matter of seconds filled with a whirlwind of memories and adventures (as is clearly evident by my lack of blogging). So what have we done to get ready for school? We have savored every last minute of our summer together ... staying up late, sleeping in (if you consider 7:45 sleeping in - for a mom of young kids, it's simply glorious!), having pj days (although I usually only last until about 10:30 and then everyone must get dressed and make their beds - Hey! I was a teacher once and I was raised by one, you can only stretch your lesson plans, I mean routines, so far), and blowing bubbles while eating popsicles in the 106 degree afternoon heat of Oklahoma. Happy 1st day of 2nd grade, Will. Kate and I will be anxiously waiting to walk you home at 3:00 - we have an appointment in the driveway with popsicles and bubbles.

"I Two"

This little bundle of energy keeps me going and wears me out. I don't know what I'd do without her.

Kate at two and a half:
knows what she wants
prefers pink milk
can sing about 547 verses of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" if it means you won't put her to bed until she's finished
thinks you can see her when she's talking to you on the phone
does not understand the word gentle
believes she is starting school with Will tomorrow
has already planned her princess birthday party and will be glad to give you the details
loves to take care of her babies
is crazy about her big brother, but now mostly calls him Will instead of Bubba
means the world to me.


I'm not really sure how we got here. I mean, I'm pretty sure he's mine, but I just can't believe he's been mine for seven years now.

Will at seven:
loves legos
might love the wii, ds, and computer games (and anything that has angry birds on it) even more
is seriously interested in spiders and bugs
can eat an entire adult + kid's meal at McD's if I let him
will stay in the water all day
is a people person
can drag every pillow & blanket into the den to make a tent before you know what hit you
taught himself how to play a few songs on the piano this summer
is kind when no one else is watching, well I'm watching
loves his sister like crazy
means more to me than life itself.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

They say it's Your Birthday ...

Happy Birthday to my Johnny: my first and only boyfriend, the one who can always make me laugh, the love of my life, the champion alarm clock snoozer, loyal to the end Duke basketball fan (but also willing to cheer for the home team as long as they aren't playing Duke), best bedtime book reader, and my hero. I'm so blessed to love you and to be loved by you.