I started blogging so that my family could see my children and keep up with as they grow. I love to sew and used to blog about that here on occasion. Now, I blog about my creations at miymdiary.blogspot.com with a friend. Stay here for to read about my family and visit the other blog for more on sewing!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chocolate Chip Spelt Cookies



I made these cookies today. Spelt needs less liquid than wheat, so I didn't quite get enough in there this time. I think I usually use about 1/4 cup more flour in this, but I think I didn't due to measuring mixups.

This is a recipe that originally called for all purpose (wheat) flour. I only changed the flour. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Spelt Cookies

Yeilds approximately 3 dozen to 60 depending on size

Ingredients:

* 2 1/2- 2 3/4 cups spelt flour (you can do any combination of white/whole flour)
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
* 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

TIPS:
I used 1/2 white, 1/2 whole spelt in this batch. I have used all whole spelt and they were delicious.

Because spelt has a nuttier flavor than wheat, I don't use nuts. I probably wouldn't anyway. The spelt gives them a REALLY good flavor - in my opinion.

I am pretty sure I used 2 1/2 cups of flour this time, so maybe I usually use 1/4 extra spelt per 1 cup when replacing wheat flour.

I use the middle sized Pampered Chef scoop when putting the cookies on the cookie sheet. You can get a similar sized scoop at any kitchen store. I think it is about 2 tablespoons. I do not round the scoops.

I usually cook them for about 8 minutes. This gives a fairly soft cookie. I am not into cripsy cookies.

These are not puffy cookies. They are very flat. The chips stand up above the cookies. They are so delicious.


If you are looking to use spelt flour, it can pretty much replace wheat flour in a recipe, you will either need to use more flour or less liquid (and eggs and oil count as liquid). In breads, you will get a lower, more dense loaf. Spelt should also not be overworked. It is more fragile than wheat. It does make wonderful baked goods!

Remember, wheat has been changed to be more readily grown and used. Spelt is pretty much what it originally was. It doesn't grow anywhere under any conditions, like wheat. If you want a grain similar to wheat that isn't a highly changed hybrid, spelt is your grain!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Room of Her Own

Every couple weeks or so the Room gets really bad. You can't see any floor. There is hardly any bed to be seen (and there are 2 in there). And I can almost guarantee there are several lost shoes under the beds just waiting to be discovered. The Room belongs to Ashley and Alona. I tell them to clean it. This is how it goes.

Ashley walks off to her room and starts cleaning.

Mom: "Alona, go clean your room."

Alona s l o w l y walks to her room, dragging her feet.

A minute or two goes by.

Ashley: "Alona's not cleaning!"

Mom or Dad goes to the room to tell her to clean.

Ashley and Alona periodically walk by with one article of clothing to take to the laundry room.

A little time passes. Mom and Dad hear playing in the room.

Mom: "Are you cleaning?!"

Ashley: "Alona's not. I am, though!"

This goes on and on and on and on.

After some time, Ashley emerges and announces that her stuff is clean. Alona, however is still messing around (if she is even in the room). Dad goes in the room with Alona and closes the door. Alona is told she is not allowed to leave the room until she has finished cleaning. She cries and cries. Eventually she starts cleaning. And guess what? It gets clean. And Dad didn't do anything but tell her to put the dirty clothes in one pile, trash in another pile, and random things that don't belong in the room in another. She does all the work. Why can't she just do it when we ask her the first time?

So after that happened today (which they tried to use the excuse that you can't clean your room on Sunday- and I would prefer that they had done it yesterday anyway!) we decided Ashley needed to have her own room. So this week we will be moving Natalie in with Alona and Ashley will be getting Natalie's room. I think Ashley will be able to keep it clean. Alona and Natalie's room, well, I just don't know what will happen in there!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Twilight Bag

For Christmas I made so many gifts and forgot to take pictures. If I gave you one and it is not pictured, please send me a picture! Thanks in advance. I made one for my friend Celina. It is the Amy Butler Swing Bag pattern. Celina absolutely LOVES Twilight, so I made it in red, black, and white fabric. Another friend saw it and thought it would be perfect for her niece's birthday. So I made a second one today. I timed it. It took me 1 hour and 10 minutes to sew the bag. The scarf took 20 minutes to cut and sew. It probably took 20 minutes to cut out the pattern pieces for the bag. So 2 hours from start to finish. I have made this bag so often that I don't need instructions! Yay! Here is the Twilight bag:

It is a little washed out in the picture. I got the fabrics from JoAnns. There were quite a few fabrics in the line to choose from. The inside of the bag is a dot fabric. It is a lot cuter in real life. This picture doesn't do it justice. Maybe I should name it the Alice Bag.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heceta Head Lighthouse and the Coast

On Sunday Dad, Rebecca, Charles, Aurelia, and the family headed over to the coast. Becca had never been to Oregon, but everyone else has. And we have taken all of them to Heceta Head when the came to visit. This was my family's 5th or 6th time there. This was the first time, however, that we really took our time and enjoyed the scenery as we hiked up the 1/2 mile trail to the lighthouse.
As we were driving to the coast it got overcast and then started raining. I didn't think it was going to be a very nice afternoon, hiking the trail in the rain. But as we got into Florence, it cleared up a bit. By the time we started hiking up the path, the sun was coming out in spots. It was windy and cool (or very cold by Rebecca's Arizona standards), but we had a wonderful time.

Frolicking on the "beach."








Charles decided to get in- as usual!





Then he decided that Alona would enjoy the water, too!




Aurelia making faces.


Aurelia and the kids.


All of the girls.


Heading up the path to the lighthouse.



A tiny waterfall.


Ashley.


Alona.


Dad found a giant tree that had been cut down. Everyone climbed up to check it out.


Aurelia and Charles played on it.


Rebecca wanted a picture with the tree that looked like Treebeard from Lord of the Rings.


Charles blending in like a chamelion.


The view from an overlook area off the beaten path.


Ashley under the trees.


Charles and Aurelia under the trees.


Ashley under the trees again.


Back on the path again.


Finally, the lighthouse at the top.


Charles and Aurelia enjoying the view of the ocean.


Natalie in the wind.


Aurelia and Alona sitting on the edge of the lighthouse.


It was so windy that they pretended to be holding onto the fence to keep from blowing away. Silly Charles.


Charles wanted a picture of the outhouses for Kelly.


Charles jumping for joy on the trip back down to the car.


The whole family under the big low tree.


Jeff, Me and Natalie.


On the drive up Aurelia noticed this sign and wanted a picture. So we stopped on the way back. It really puts into words what she and I were going through. Darn colds.



A cute one of Aurelia.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Bathroom goes down...

So as I was finishing up on the computer after posting the last post, I heard what sounded like Natalie echoing in the bathroom. I went looking, and sure enough she was in the bathtub. I told her to get out of the bathroom. She got mad and stomped her feet really fast as she walked across the tile that had been laid only 3 hours earlier. The whole row of tiles sank. I can't tell you how livid I was/am. I put her in her room for a nap and tried to call my Dad. I figured he would still be on a plane. He was. I called my sister Becca because she used to lay tile with my dad. She told me to pick the tiles up and reset them with more mortar. Yay! Just what I want to do. I have never tried to tile anything before. So I called a friend who has a notched trowel and we went to get it. I told Natalie she would be going straight back to bed when we got home. She must have sensed how angry I was because as soon as we got home she went straight to bed.
I started mixing mortar. I just love inhaling the dust! Not really. Please sense my not so happy yet sarcastic tone as I am writing all of this. I think I got mortar just about everywhere I possibly could. The tiles aren't very straight and evenly separated. I had to lean against the door that opens into the bathroom from my bedroom, so it was really hard to stay on the already messed up tiles while removing the tiles across the room next to the tub. If you look at the previous post, they are the row of tiles on the left going straight from the entry to the tub. I just hope they are okay.

The Bathroom continues...

While my dad was here for Ashley's baptism he tiled the bathroom. It was a short trip, so I get to grout the floor as Dad ran out of time. He was tiling up until about a half hour before we left for the airport. The shower looks beautiful! And the floor will look the same when I am done grouting it! I can't wait till we finish!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ashley got baptized

Ashley was baptized today. My Dad flew in to baptize her (and tile our bathroom). Uncle Charles, Aunt Aurelia, and Aunt Becca also came for the baptism. We had so many friends and family who were able to attend and support Ashley in her wonderful decision to be baptized. We are very pleased with the beautiful young lady she is growing to be. Thank you for all your love and support! Ashley got her own set of scriptures from the Andrews side of the family, a bunch of cards, and an Angel of Prayer keepsake box. She is so thankful that so many of her loved ones were there!


Grandpa Andrews and Ashley before the baptism.


From the top back: Charles, Natalie, Jeff, Laura, Becca, Aurelia
Front row: Grandpa Andrews, Alona, Ashley

Thursday, February 5, 2009

bathroom-again

Well, Jeff got the tub in and hooked up the plumbing. We had to build out one of the walls, thus the plywood. It will end up with drywall and wonderboard over it, and then finished off and tiled. I can't wait till this remodel is over. It is our last really big thing. Except for the fireplace. That will hopefully be a project for the summer so we won't freeze when the wall is opened up. At least we are just planning a replacement for what we have now, so hopefully it won't be too involved.


Jeff checking for leaks.

Ashley's Baptism

Just in case anyone was wondering, Ashley is getting baptized this Saturday the 7th at the Eugene Stake center at 5 pm. We are so excited that she has made this decision! Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 2, 2009

More of the Bathroom

This weekend was spent working on the bathroom. We got our heavy cast iron tub. Jeff's brother-in-law Garren came over and soldered the new copper pipe. No leaks! Thanks, Garren. That really helped a whole lot.

The Pipes


The Tub


Hopefully, the tub will go in place tonight!

My Experience with Barbie Dolls

I am not opposed to Barbie dolls. I loved them when I was a kid. My mom didn't allow us to have them because she said they made you grow up to be vain and only think about your appearance. I still wanted to play with them. It was great fun to go and play with them at friend's homes. My little sister Anna had a bunch of Barbie dolls. Funny how things change for younger siblings. Someone gave all of their old ones to her, so my mom allowed it.
My kids had so many Barbies that it took over our house. They only played with them once in a while. The little accessories ended up everywhere. It was so difficult for them to clean their room with so many little things all over. They really wanted some Fisher Price Snap 'N Style dolls. So I made a deal with them. If they got rid of some of their toys that they could keep put away, they would get some for Christmas. They took me up on that on. We sold over 40 Barbies on craigslist in early December. We also got rid of the Polly Pocket toys, Rainbow Brite dolls, and Strawberry Shortcake dolls. We kept the Littlest Pet Shop toys. They love the new dolls they got for Christmas. And I get the joy of not finding little Barbie accessories all over the house. It is nice to have less toys for them to keep track of and makes cleaning their room so much easier.