Monday, December 31, 2012

The end of the year

There's no way I'm going to end the year with a blog post about homemade pop tarts. Instead, I'll finish out the year with a post recounting what's been going on with us the past week or so.

Nora has been VERY LOUD AND WHINY in the car as of late so I came up with the brilliant idea that Jason could drop me and Nora off in Little Rock at the air port and then pick us up in Nashville ten hours later. I contacted Dan to see if we could score a buddy pass and if there were any flights that looked promising. It was all set up and on Sunday, we took off.
Naps have to happen, even in airports.

Nora enjoying having a whole row of seats to herself.
I thought it was hilarious that no one sat beside us or even across the isle from us.

Looking out the window at the lights of St. Louis

We made it to Tennessee without any incidents (Other than Nora throwing up on the way home from the airport. Very high altitude and then too many curves make for one queasy tummy.) and settled in at Bebe and Bubba's house.
By Monday, everyone had arrived. Lily and Eily were so happy to see each other again!

On Christmas morning, we woke up and dove into the presents.  

On Thursday, Abi and I took the girls to the Discovery Museum to get out of the house and burn off some energy. (And to give Bebe and Bubba a little break. :)

Claire, the mechanic

This was her tire assistant, Nora.

Eily was in charge of fluids.

This was the largest turtle I've ever seen. Nora was impressed.

Digging for bones

Lily the explorer

Rock spreader

Having fun in the shadow room

Shadows from the above picture

Of course we had to experience a tornado before we left. :)

Then, on Friday, we traveled home. There weren't any flights at a good time so Nora and I made the trek home with the rest of the family. There had been a heavy snow in Arkansas while we were gone and the girls were very excited to get home and make a snowman.
All of our snow was melted. Boo.
But Nanny and Pappy had a lot of now left (still do, actually) and on Saturday afternoon we went to their house. Uncle Josh came over and he and Elaina and Claire made a great snowman for Nanny!

Then late Saturday night our realtor called to say someone wanted to look at the house Sunday afternoon. So I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and now we are just waiting to hear if the report is negative or positive.

Today, the last day of 2012 has been nice. We've picked up a little, we've done some laundry, we've worked on potty training and we've played with new toys. I'm enjoying the sound of the the girls playing together. Elaina and Claire are in the schoolroom creating a barbie town and Nora and Eily are on the couch reading books together. I'm so blessed to have my little family. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Homemade Pop Tarts

Y'all. These are so good. 
I've been trying to cook more of our snacks using whole wheat four and five ingredients or less. I'm slowly striving to make our diet 100% preservative free. I found this recipe  on 100 Days of Real Food. 

The ingredients are:

  • 2 ¼ cup whole-wheat flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • ½ cup water plus ice
  • 1 egg beaten with a splash of water
  • 7 – 8 tablespoons jam or jelly 

The recipe said to use a food processor but since I don't have one, I used my stand mixer
I mixed the dry ingredients with the whisk paddle and then I switched to the "all purpose" paddle to mix in the wet ingredients.
I rolled it out on the pastry mat about a half inch thick.


I used this lid gripper as a template to cut out the pop tarts. It was the only thing that I could find that was the right shape. :)

I could fit four rectangles on the mat. I figured out by the end of making them that this size is too large for the girls, and cutting this shape in half is the perfect size.

I took one of the rectangles, rolled it out pretty thin and then cut it in half.

Next, I plop some jelly in the center of one half and then place the other half on top.

I gently pressed the edges together to seal them and then crimped them with a fork.

I poked some holes in the top to let out steam,

and then brushed the top with an egg wash.

I baked them at 375 degrees for about 18 minutes.

(A lot of the jelly will leak out so you will want to line the pan with parchment paper and put fresh paper down for each batch. )

The Result? 
Yummy, delicious, healthy, crunchy and gobbled up quickly. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Our Christmas 2012

We had our little family Christmas yesterday. We have a tradition of putting up the baby gate in the hallway the night before, and then, in the morning, the girls stand there impatiently and excitedly (or in Nora's case, angrily) as I make them pose for a picture. Then we remove the gate and they make a mad dash for their stockings.
We had some fun stocking stuffers this year. The silly straws were a big hit.

Claire and Eily addded to their Calico Critter's Collection.


It was a nice relaxing day and we had a lot of fun opening presents, playing with toys, watching Christmas movies and eating yummy food. Now on to the rest of the funtivities!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Angel Band 2

Remember this post?

In it, I posted this picture and said I would tell you more about it later. Finally, after months of waiting, I'm allowed to "spill the beans". My oldest brother, Adam, had a wonderful idea and instead of typing and deleting, typing and deleting, I'm just going to let him tell you about it all.

In the mid-1970s, several members of the family of Asa and Lily Green got together to record an album of a cappella hymns.  It was originally on vinyl, and later copied to cassette tape.  The name of that early recording was “Angel Band.”
On August 25th a group of 25 cousins of the family of Logan and Roberta Green gathered in Dora at Fountain Square House Studios to follow in those same footsteps.  As a result, the CD collection of hymns known as “Angel Band 2” was born.  It is intended to be a tribute to our grandparents.

The language on the CD cover is as follows:
“As long as any of us can remember, our lives have been filled and enriched with music – music such as the soft strumming of a guitar accompanying the melodic lilting of a bluegrass fiddle, or “Poet and Peasant” thundering across the keys of a Baldwin piano.  But more than anything else, our lives have been surrounded by a cappella hymn singing in our homes and in worship services.
That tradition of music has been passed down to us by our grandparents, Logan and Roberta Green.  Not only have they both been outstanding examples of what men and women of character should be, but they have loved music, and have ensured that the knowledge of the rudiments of music was instilled in their children and grandchildren.  Countless hours have been spent in their home singing, listening to singing, and learning how to sing.  We owe them a debt of gratitude that we will never fully repay.
This album of recorded hymns is just a small attempt on our part to tell them of our love.”

This is the insert my cousin, Dan, made for the CD.

And the CD. Enjoy!
These are available for purchase. There is no profit being made, the price simply covers making the CD and mailing it. If you are interested in buying one, just let me know and I'll hook you up. The price is $10 if I can hand it to you in person and $12 if I have to mail it.

Also, a big thank you to Logan, who hacked into my Soundcloud account and did all the dirty work so I could easily post this CD on my blog.