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•October 27, 2009 • 4 Comments

I barely slept.  Fell asleep late.  Woke up early.  Really early.  4:00am kind-of early.  Oy.

The sun began to rise.  6:45am.  I found my way to the beach.  With friends.  To discover the most beautiful of skies fashioned by God.

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He can make quite the impression on my soul.

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•October 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It was really just a dream.  It certainly wasn’t something I thought we could make happen, not with our busy schedules and financially-strapped wallets.

Yet somehow, by the grace of God and one free plane ticket, I made it there.  So we did what good friends do…we set out to fulfill the goal

we hit the coast, BABY!!!!

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…and we had a blast.  A swim-in-the-ocean-at-midnight, play-Farkle-in-the-sand kind of blast.  A laugh-until-we-cry, drink-wine-from-the-bottle kind of blast.  A hug-so-hard-we-almost-fall-over-because-we-miss-each-other-on-a-minute-by-minute-basis kind of blast.  A you’re-the-greatest-friend-no-you’re-the-greatest-friend kind of blast.

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•October 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I missed August.  Whoops.  Too many things happening all at once…this should teach me to spread out my 101 in 1001 goals and not wait until…oh…the last day of the month to do everything.

PUMPKIN BUTTERSCOTCH MUFFINS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour (I just used another cup of wheat flour)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, stir together all above ingredients.

2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup pumpkin puree

In a separate bowl, whisk together all above ingredients.  Stir into dry mixture.

1 cup butterscotch chips

Fold chips into mixture.  Fill muffin cups to desired level; bake for 17-20 minutes.

THE VERDICT: Well…Sherm ate all the crumbs and one full muffin before they had even cooled.  I’m thinking the verdict is good.  🙂  Thank you to Amy over at The Finer Things in Life for showcasing this recipe!

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•September 16, 2009 • 2 Comments

It took me four months to tackle this one with a camera.  My first sunrise was where 14th Street connected with the sand at Ocean City with some of my most favorite of family members…but I was too busy swimming the Atlantic at 5:30am to pay attention to grabbing a clicker.

I woke up antsy in anticipation for Chelsea to arrive.  Couldn’t sleep.  Couldn’t eat.  I was stoked.  Realizing what time it was, I took the pup out for a potty break and captured the sunrise timeline from my backyard.  These images are SOOC (straight out of camera for those who aren’t down with the photo lingo)…I think God edits nature better than Photoshop any day!

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•September 14, 2009 • 3 Comments

There aren’t many shows I avidly watch.  The Office…occasionally.  NCIS…absolutely.  Grey’s Anatomy…you’ve got to be kidding me reallyareyouaskingsuchasillyquestion?!  OF COURSE I WATCH GREY’S!!

Earlier this year, however, I fell off the radar of Grey’s-watching.  Things were just too busy and I never had the time.  So I made it a 101 in 1001 challenge to bring myself up to speed, and in the past week I have cried 3 times for a consecutive number of HOURS for this show…it really does bring out the baby in me.

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So…I’m caught up.  And for those of you who aren’t and expect to just jump onto the Grey’s wagon when the season returns on 9.24…you’re sadly mistaken.  It’s just too deep now…and you have to know the deepness of all that has happened this season to get into season 6.

Many thanks to Hulu and Surf the Channel for having all episodes available…even if they had Japanese subtitles streaming at the bottom of the page.  If the shoe fits!!

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•August 27, 2009 • 2 Comments

We didn’t expect to do this, yet God dealt us a purty hand the day we went to the fair.  It rained and poured, which presented just enough water (and humidity) for there to be puddles.  So I grabbed my niece and nephew and showed them how to do it.  Clearly this was their first time……novices.  I yelled “Jump!” and they looked at me.  Weird Auntie J….that look. So I jumped.  The water splashed up around our ankles.  They laughed and slightly tapped their toes to…you know…check it out.  I began jumping…over and over and over and over again.  All at once, as if some childlike reminder popped into their beautiful brains…they snapped.  Jump!!  Jump!!  Jump!!  Jump!!  Without much notice from those passing by…me and my favorite kiddos made yet another memory (not to mention fulfilled a 101 in 1001).

Photos provided by the lovely Kristen of Kristen Murphy Photography.

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•August 19, 2009 • 5 Comments

Much to my disdainment, I’ve really been enjoying this whole baking from scratch once a month goal.  It’s really allowed me to enjoy baking and appreciate the complexities essential to producing a well-baked product.  For example, until July I had never sifted anything.  Anything.  Now, I understand why it’s so dandy to do such a thing…it’s easier to mix everything up!  There were no clumpy gobs of dry mixture hidden amongst the smooth mixture when I was mixing…how many times can I put the word “mix” in one sentence?!  Anyways, on to this months recipe!

FARMHOUSE CHOCOLATE CRINKLES

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs (I used 5 small)
2 tsps vanilla extract (I ran out of this so I compensated with a teaspoon of brown sugar)

In a large bowl, blend oil and sugar.  Gradually add eggs.  Add vanilla extract.

4 ounces unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa
2 cups flour (I used whole-grain wheat flour)
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Sift dry ingredients together.  Gradually add flour mixture to oil mixture.  Blend well until free from lumps (which won’t take long if you sift!).  Chill overnight.

1 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in confectioners sugar.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool.

THE VERDICT:  Two dozen of these were gone within 24 hours.  You tell me.  🙂  Many thanks to Christy over at Sweet Tidings for the recipe!!

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•August 18, 2009 • 1 Comment

I have it punched in my Blackberry for the last day of every month.  It’s the day I come see you.  And as I promised last time, I brought the O’Douls.

I’m a few weeks late with this post, but it’s worth sharing.  It was dark, and the only light I had was streaming from the headlights on my car…Gerry’s car…I thought it really captured our evening together well.

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•June 30, 2009 • 3 Comments

Amanda over at The Flock introduced me to Avocado Pie from a fun foody blog, Pinch My Salt.  I will admit…I was hesitant about this recipe, but my goodness it was so delicious!!  Now, I only baked the crust in this, but I did make the entire thing from scratch so I think it passes for my one a month baking goal. IMG_1532

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
  • 3 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • graham cracked pie crust with brown sugar (Use recipe on box of graham crackers)
  • whipped cream (I used light)

Directions

  1. In blender, mix avocado and milk thoroughly, then blend in lemon juice.  Pour immediately into pie crust (it starts to set up fast).  Top with whipped cream and refrigerate for a few hours.

xoxo.jenifriend

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•June 3, 2009 • 4 Comments

I did it.  I made it through 24 hours of time with the niece and nephew!!  At only four months difference in age, I was blatantly reminded of the fun, and challenges, that having children so close in age can produce.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking, and at the end I’ll share my favorite moments with my favorite babies!  🙂

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First we enjoyed some fun at the playground…

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Then we walked home together.  I had to carry Ms. Gracie, though…she got blisters.  No bueno.  😦

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Then we put on our aprons and made some pizza ala english muffin-style.

Then there was bath time…but those pictures are left to the parents only.  🙂

Then we threw on a movie and enjoyed popcorn. Two kinds to be exact: Extra Butter…and Kettle Corn (my fave).

And because I couldn’t leave these out…our favorite Caeden/Grace conversations:

Grace: *enters bathroom*  “What are you doing Caeden?”
Caeden: *sitting on toilet*  “I’m pooping, Gracie.”
Grace: “Oh yay!  You can do it!!  Go poopy in the potty!”
Caeden: *giggles*  “I’m trying!”
Grace: *walks over to observe Caeden’s progress*  “Yay!  You pooped (pronounced poop-id) in the potty! *grabs a piece of toilet paper and proceeds to wipe Caeden’s bum*  “Okay, come on!”
Caeden: “Thank you?” (really this was stated in the form of a question…I would’ve been in shock too if someone else wiped my bum for me!)

Jeni: “Okay we’re going to go to church here soon.”
Caeden & Grace: *in unison*  “Yay church!”
Jeni: “Caeden do you love church?”
Caeden: *smiles*  “Yeah.”
Jeni: “Do you love Jesus?”
Caeden: *smiles even bigger*  “Yeah.”
Grace: *screaming at the top of her lungs, hands in air, dancing in circles*  “I LOVE JESUS!  I LOVE JESUS!”
Jeni: *doing everything to contain herself*  “Jesus loves you too Gracie!”
Grace: “YEAH, I LOVE JESUS!!”

xoxo.jenifriend