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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Seeing the Everyday - Cookies equates Celebration

A few months ago, I was doing something I do routinely; I was making cookies with my kids.  These cookies are a family staple.  I call them sea shell cookies because the cookie dough texture looks something like washed up beach sand.
(notice one cookie has a bite in it)

Near the end of the day, I received a text from a friend of mine Daryl, a friend of mine I met in high school who now lives in Boston (you can read more about him here).
Daryl is the editor of the magazine Seeing the Everyday; a publication focusing on every day rituals and routines that make up our life; a prosaic because nothing is really ordinary.

When we were teenagers, Daryl and I used to make cookies all the time; after swim meets, while doing homework  or just hanging out.  It didn't matter if we were at my house or his, we spent a lot of time with butter, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, chocolate chip, well you get the idea.

So, when I received Daryl's text to call him that day, I of course, sent over a photo of a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, letting him know how much I'd like to share some cookies with him.  Immediately my phone rang.  It was Daryl, letting me know his magazine photographer had just done a gorgeous photo spread of the process of making cookies.  "I can't think of a better person to write about the lessons of life learned through making cookies than you."  We brainstormed a bit about family, cooking and reminisced about the good old days.  After that, I got to work.

 Who knew cookie making was so full of love and fun and wisdom, but that's what I realized as I dissected this family routine.  Food attracts conversation and warmth and giving.

I grew up with a cookie-making mom.  I don’t remember a time where the cookie batch wasn’t doubled, as a paper plate was filled with a dozen or so and taken to a sick neighbor or church member who’d just had a baby.  Cookies equated sharing. My mom was a giver and I was the lucky daughter to see this gift time and time again.

I now live down the street from my parents.  My mom doesn’t make cookies as often as she used to, but once the cookies I make cool down, my son volunteers to take a plate of cookies down to his grandparents.  Did my mother know she would someday be a recipient of all those given-away cookies coming back?  “Like mother, like daughter,” some might say.

Hanging out with my family.
My brothers and sisters and their kids.  There's a lot of us, a few are missing but when a family grows to be this size, it's almost impossible to have everyone in a family photo!
Nieces and nephews with Auntie Rachel.

As a parent, it was a surprise when my kids starting requesting certain meals or they'd come inside and see me making something. "Oh, is that chicken noodle soup, Mom.  I love when you make that," one of my sons might say.  Although it is routine and consistent, I find satisfaction knowing they are aware of the foods I make.  Cooking takes sacrifice and preparation; it's nice to be appreciated.  On the flip side, they love to eat.  I want them to be healthy, so I slip zucchini in homemade breads, shredded cauliflower in spaghetti sauce and spinach in enchiladas.  Meal time is one thing, but they associate my seashell cookies as celebration.

Seashell cookie recipe

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 white sugar
Cream together
Add 2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together again.  This is when it gets fun.
Add 2 cups oatmeal
1 cup crushed corn flakes
1 cup crushed golden grahams cereal
1 tsp soda
1 1/2 cups flour (white or wheat, depending on your preference)
1 cup chocolate chips
Stir together.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.  Prepare to fall in love.

Remember to pick up your Fall 2013 edition of Seeing the Everyday magazine.  Available at Barnes and Noble and online.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Benefit Yard Sale for Aaron Rodenbaugh

We want to help raise money for Aaron Rodenbaugh’s funeral expenses
and you can help.

We are having a benefit yard sale and bake sale with all proceeds going to the Rodenbaugh family.

Where:  Laura Lofgreen’s home

When: Friday December 6 and Saturday December 7
Time: 8:00 to noon

*  It’s a great time to de-junk your home in preparation for the holidays.  Even little donations help.  Please set you’re your stuff aside, as donations can be dropped off Wednesday and Thursday, December 4 and 5.  Please drop off donations in the back carport of Laura Lofgreen’s home. Even if she’s not home, you are welcome to leave your stuff.

*  If you would like to donate to the bake sale, please drop off goods Thursday or Friday night.  The sale runs for two days and we can use baked goods both days. 

*  If you would like to help during the sale, make signs or distribute flyers, please contact Laura for information.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Junk In The Trunk This Saturday!

We'll be participating in the Junk In The Trunk Vintage Market on Saturday- stop by and see us- space #81.  Love, Kelly.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

When in Jerome!

15 years of marriage plus 5 children equals extreme difficulty when planning an anniversary get-away, but the counselor pulled it off with flying colors.

 He said he wanted to take me away.  He did all the research and booked the hotels.

We started out in the heart of Sedona.  We walked into this little shop and on the radio was John Denver's "Annie's Song."
I've sung this song to our children for years, so naturally, the counselor and I started dancing and crying.
I have so many memories when I hear "Annie's Song".  I first memorized the words while at ASU in an advanced public speaking class.  I actually sang the song at the end of a speech I gave about the environment (I was brave back then).  I've been singing it to our children ever since.

The hummer ride up a Sedona mountainside was the counselor's idea.

The drive and the sounds of the hummer reminded me of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. 

Here's kissing rock. Awe!

Our tour guide pointed out this Merry Go' Round vortex.  
Ironically, there was a wedding party taking sunset photos.  
This was amazing to me, because the ride up the mountain was one of the bumpiest rides I've ever been on. Like teeth chattering, back-breaking, hold onto the rails while looking over a canyon raven praying you don't drop off below.  Clearly, this couple is about to start out on an adventure of a lifetime.

It was beautiful as we rode up the mountain.

The wind in the trees reminded me of another John Denver song.

Our tour guide said this tree growing in the rock was named Will.  "Where there's a will, there's a way," he said.

Our first night we went to a restaurant in Sedona called Sound Bites Grill.  The counselor loves jazz and to our surprise, the lovely Trish Hatley was performing.
She was amazing and it was so much fun meeting her.

The next day we traveled to Jerome, about 20 miles out of Sedona.  On our drive up the mountain, we stopped by this old abandoned store.

It had paint-chipped doors and story-telling views.  I asked a gentleman checking out the store if he would take our picture.  He told us he was a professional photographer and suggested where we pose.
He was awesome, so thank you professional photographer stranger who was so kind.  You gave us a wonderful anniversary present.

The counselor and I visited Jerome 14 years earlier in the summer of 1999,
(here's a photograph I pulled out of an old album of ours)
so it was a walk down (or should I say up considering it's built up on a mountain side) lane.

Here's a photo I took 14 years ago.
Here's something I took last weekend.  Same stairs, different decades.
Here's a view from the top of the hill looking back towards Sedona.  It's very Grand Canyon like, flirting with dramatic colors and elevations.

There is a park in Jerome where the counselor and I hung out 14 years ago.
I was pregnant with our first child, Chandler. I had horrible morning sickness, but I was so excited for the family we were creating.  I couldn't wait to be a mom.

Here, the counselor took a photo of me at the same park last weekend.

The rock wall is old and gorgeous. When is Anthropologie going to be shooting there next catalog here?  Seriously, so many amazing photo ops in this ghost town.
The people and shops are enchanting.
It's an artist town, so everywhere you turn there's something beautiful to see.

The next day we took it easy at out hotel in Oak Creek Canyon.

The canyon was alive with color.
The wind was blowing and the sky was full of fluffy floating clouds.  

The sun would highlight certain areas just for a moment.
I certainly saw the light shining down on this guy.  I love him.

We ate lots of wild Sedona apples, but later we went all out and ate chocolate-caramel apples at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for lunch.

I hope we don't have to wait another 14 years to get back.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween and a not-spooky dresser

A few days before Halloween, we had trunk 'or treat in our church parking lot.  Eden and Reef got dolled up as Spiderman and Rapunzel; both thrift store finds for just a few dollars a piece.  I made Eden's hair flowers from silk flowers I also found at the thrift store.
She was so happy Jesus made her a pink sky!
That night, Eden and her bestie were Rapunzel twins.

I was a last minute opera singer, but later decided I was an opera singer witch.

We have a family tradition of adding on to our costumes as the night goes on.  For example, Payson started out as a nerd, then was a nerd zombie, then was a nerd zombie U of A basketball player.  
Chandler is a cool teenager, than later a cool teenager wearing a hooded jacket.
I know, original!
Mayer was a skater, then later became a zombie skater wearing a goofy hat.  
Reef while a last minute Lyle the Crocodile and Eden was Snow White.  The youngest ones keep it simple.

 I love Halloween costumes that are play on words, so Halloween night, that’s what I was. A few months ago, I saw this joke on facebook that people from Boston call their car keys “Khakis.”

I just thought this was hilarious! 
 So, I found a pair of $1.00 day Gap Khakis at Goodwill (still with the new tag on them priced at $48!) and was a pair of “Khakis” (notice the car keys around my neck). 
Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.  
It was pretty funny trying to explain this to neighbors along the way so lesson learned: when it takes five minutes to explain your Halloween costume you're a total nerd.

Ironically, I painted the heavenly angel of dressers Halloween week. 
Nothing scary about this thing! Love it.
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