Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Recipe Time

My sister-in-law, Naomi (she doesn't have a blog, otherwise I'd link her!), found this recipe on and let me say, it is fab. It is a lip-smackin' combination of the three best kinds of cookies: peanut butter, oatmeal, and chocolate-chip.

Here you go!

Peanut Butter Cookies IX

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, wheat flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Finally, mix in the oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Photo: A little crisp, due to my horrible oven, but still SO good!

Buon appetito!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Need Your Input!

1) My sister-in-law (and my father-in-law) are growing (what I consider to be, at least) a large garden this year. It is producing tons of string beans and yellow wax beans right now. Does anyone know how to make 3-bean salad (you see it a lot at picnics)? Or maybe you have Maggie Matz---'s recipe (I don't like to use last names on the internet), if you live in the area I grew up?

2)Has anyone read any good books lately? Christian or otherwise? I haven't read a good book in a while and am curious to see if anyone's read anything good.

Thanks! :)

New finds

A few websites I just discovered that I thought I'd share with you:

Kingdom First Mom: basically a hands-on money-saving blog

Days to Come: also a lot to do with finances (more things to do at home)

Also, one of my favorite bloggers is finally back but at a new location! Sparrow's Nest has moved to Of course, I could be the only one on here who cares, but I think her house and family are so cute and I love reading her posts.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pics are up

My Dominican pictures (four albums' worth!!) are all loaded on Facebook. Enjoy! I kinda explain most of the photos so you have some idea of what's going on in each of them. There were well over 200 so I couldn't actually post them all here. :)

I was in Connecticut from Thursday - Saturday just for a quick trip to spend time with my mom and sister (my Dad was working most of the time, unfortunately). It was so nice to have some girl time - watching Project Runway and Gilmore Girls episodes, going to Puffin (I'd never eaten there before and I loved it!!!), and shopping at the factory outlets. My sister left for NYC with her friends early on Saturday morning, but mom and I got a chance to go to a few yard sales (I didn't find anything, surprisingly) and then came home to have waffles and hang out with my dad. Friday night we all went out to eat with my grandparents, which was nice. My grandmother is still really having a hard time not being bitter and angry (the doctors are still not sure/not telling what killed my uncle and my grandparents are seriously considering getting a lawyer), so that was a little hard. She cried a little bit, too. Some of you know my grandparents so if you think of her, just pray for her, will you? Thanks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Made a Craft! I Made a Craft!

Yes, that is definitely breaking news. I haven't done any kind of arts 'n' crafts since 7th grade, when beading your own necklaces was all the rage and everyone I knew toted their beads and fishing line around in plastic boxes (ah, but I digress ;).

Anyway, there are so many crafty women online that I have been inspired to start thinking outside the box when it comes to finding ways to decorate my home.

I was at Goodwill a month or two ago when I saw two shadowbox-type things - "whitewashed" wood frames, with some incredibly tacky dried flowers glued to the inside.

(In my hurry to rip them out I forgot to take a photo.)

The new, crafty part of my brain thought, "I can do something with those!"

So I brought them home, and they sat.

And sat.

Finally, I asked my sister-in-law to borrow her glue gun. I had never used a glue gun before, although my mom used one alllll the time when we were little because she used to enter craft shows and sell some really cute stuff. Apparently the crafty gene stopped with me. Ah, but I digress again. ;)

Anyway, I had a whole bunch of real-live sand dollars that I had picked on the beach last year during our vacation in Maine. For a whole year they had sat in storage. They are so intricately beautiful that I knew I wanted those in my shadowboxes (my bathroom's "theme" is the beach - not tacky bright blue and yellow beach, but creams and whites and seafoam green, and only shells and sea glass and sea pottery that I or my brother have found.)

So I arranged and re-arranged about a hundred times.

I glue-gunned the sand dollars and used duck tape to hold the back together. The Nester would be oh-so-proud. I had a blast.

Then my darling husband told me he didn't want to make two more nail marks in the bathroom, since we're leaving our apartment in about a month.

So for the next month or so, they'll just rest on my window table, where I can stare at their beachy wholesomeness while I watch tv. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I need a mental vacation......

Ahhh! I'm so sorry about my poopy posting. It's just that every time I have logged on with the intention of posting, I get so distracted and caught up with all of the other stuff online that I missed over my 10-day absence that by the time I even think about posting on my own blog, I am way too tired to come up with anything to write. I'm really starting to think about timing myself on the internet, like some of you have mentioned that you do. I just feeling like I'm missing so much if I don't read everything! I always start out with Money Saving Mom (because I don't want to miss any money-saving tips), and then I end up following her blog to coupon sites or other blogs, and then there's my several e-mail accounts, facebook, friends' blogs.......the list goes on. My brain just gets on information overload, I guess! For those of you who time yourself each day, do you find that it's satisfying or stressful (meaning, are you okay with stopping your time on the internet, or do you feel like you need lots more time?)

Please understand that I know in the scheme of life, "internet time" is not really a crisis of global proportions. But it is something that I would like advice on, if you're willing to give it!

I'm also sorry about not posting pictures yet - I still feel like my life has not yet bounced back from this trip! I have been sleeping 9-10 hours every night since we got back (we averaged about 7 or less while we were down there, and now my body cannot get enough sleep), plus my stomach has been rebelling against eating American food again. I finally went and got my pictures developed yesterday (it cost me $45, can you believe it?!!!!!), and created an adorable little 6x8 photo book of our trip at CVS that is free after ExtraBucks (try it this week! it's so fun and easy). I promise pictures are coming sometime soon!!

It's just that my head still feels like it's swimming - the other day I put spices in the fridge and then looked for them for 10 minutes until I realized what I had done. So please bear with me! :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaack!

Oh my goodness, I do not even know where to start! To say that our week in the DR was amazing would be selling it short. It was fantastic! Meeting people from Chris's past, experiencing the Dominican culture, taking communion with brothers and sisters in Christ in a Spanish-only church, starting with pieces of wood and nails and constructing a chapel by the end of the week, leading children's songs in Spanish and playing with village was seriously indescribable. We got back really late on Wednesday night and I am still trying to sort through all of the laundry piles - I've done 7 loads so far, but who's counting? - and start up our life here again. Oh the stories I have for all of you! And I promise I will post pictures.

But first, I need to continue to waddle through the mess of laundry and luggage that is still our apartment.

I can't thank you enough for praying!