precious little grandson

Here are some favorite photos of our new little grandson, Carter. He was only five hours old when Scott and Mike arrived to meet him. I was already there tending Brookelyn and Bailee, so I had already had my precious first hugs and cuddles. Nothing is sweeter than the joy of seeing a new little baby for the first time. Scott had to give Carter a good going over, checking his reflexes and grip, although Becky had already checked him out from her nursing perspective. See her photos on her blog - click here. Aimee looked beautiful and so happy to have a safe and happy delivery. Aaron, dressed in the same shirt he had worn for both Brookie's and Bailee's births (for good luck), was all smiles.
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Is it burnt or burned - Scott wants to know

This photo really has nothing to do with the question...Scott just pointed it out to me as a really great photo that he took in Orlando. I guess it has some elements of burning.
So Scott keeps worrying that my blog name should be Burned Cookies, not Burnt Cookies. So we googled it and came up with the answer that it could go either way. But burnt sounds cuter. Is cuter a word?

BURNT Adj. -use interchangably with burned- 1. burnt - ruined by overcooking; "she served us underdone bacon and burnt biscuits" burned cooked - having been prepared for eating by the application of heat 2. burnt - treated by heating to a high temperature but below the melting or fusing point; "burnt sienna" 3. burnt - destroyed or badly damaged by fire; "a row of burned houses"; "a charred bit of burnt wood"; "a burned-over site in the forest"; "barricaded the street with burnt-out cars" burned-over, burned, burned-out, burnt-out

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Fabulous Bonnie

"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels."

"To tell a woman everything she may not do is to tell her what she can do." ~Proverb

I was sitting by my good friend Bonnie in church today and suddenly her shoes caught my eye. I had to lean forward and stare. Bonnie was wearing gorgeous red heels, almost exactly like the shoes in this photo. Those shoes are a tribute to Bonnie...a symbol of her strength, courage and, yes, stubbornness. Bonnie should probably be wearing practical shoes, but by dang she's not going to give in. If you know her, you know what I mean. Fabulous red heels, fabulous Bonnie. You go, girl.


a chocolate cookie day

Like all good stormy days should, this one put me in the mood to stay inside and, what else? bake cookies. I haven't made this yummy recipe in a long time, so decided to go for some serious double chocolate goodness. The recipe came from Martha Stewart's magazine; it was the "cookie of the year" a few years ago. You might think I named the recipe Grammy's Chocolate Cookies, because my Grandma name is Grammy, but no, that's exactly what it was called in the magazine. The cookies are quick to make and the cookie dough is extra good. The best news about yesterday's baking is that I got through four whole cookie sheets of cookies and didn't burn a single one! So here's the recipe:

Grammy's Chocolate Cookies
2 cubes unsalted butter
1/2 cup Crisco
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
3/4 (scant) cup good cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. soda
3/4 tsp. salt
Cream the butter, Crisco and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. (I always beat the mixture really well at this stage, but once I put in the flour then I try to mix it as gently and as little as possible.) Put dry ingredients in sifter and sift, then add to bowl. Stir gently. Optional to add 6 ounces chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 9 1/2 minutes or until done. Don't overbake.
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Snow on my ivy

I know this subject of the long winter here is very tiresome, and like everyone else I'm longing for sunshine and color in my yard. Desperate for photos 'for my blog,' I wandered outside yesterday with Scott's camera. The prettiest sight among all the gray and brown was the hearty ivy that grows on the north side of the house. It had a skiff of snow dusting its green leaves. I also thought the photo of our stair rail with big droplets of slush showed what kind of a day/week/month we're having.
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I'm scrapbooking's biggest fan...

There is this cute scrapbooker named Jana Eubank. She is on the design team for Adornit, and I love love love what she does with Adornit product. Here's one of my favorite layouts that she posted on her blog recently. I'm definitely going to scraplift this one - I have a box of pages that I've torn out of scrapbook magazines with layouts I love - it's my "scraplift this" box. I'm putting a copy of Jana's layout in my box along with the 150 other samples I have in there that I love. Sometimes I just get the box out and look through it for the smiles. I love scrapbookers. I might be the industry's biggest fan!

Here's what Jana wrote- "I don't know what it is lately, but every time I sit down to work with my Adornit products I get in a doodly-mood! LOL!"

Also from Jana: "I did this layout last night using some of the new papers from the Whoopsy Daisy collection by Adornit. CUTE STUFF! (This is a HUGE collection and every single sheet is to die for!) I also used Adornit's green daisy ribbon, Baby Girl Dimensional stickers, and a few of the Girly Girl cardstock stickers. And check out their new letter stickers (black letters). It's a great versatile font and a perfect size for a lot of applications."


from Oprah

Instructions on Gratitude
by David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Whatever is given is a gift—even the most difficult experiences can be seen as wake-up calls and therefore gifts. And the appropriate response to any gift is gratitude. Here are four small gestures that can help you show gratitude and stay awake and aware.

  1. All gratitude expresses trust. Mobilize the courage of your heart, as the truly awake ones are doing. Say one word today that gives a fearful person courage.

  2. Because gratitude expresses courage, it spreads calm. Join the truly compassionate ones who are calm and strong. From the stillness of your heart's core reach out. Calmly hold someone's hand today and spread calm.

  3. When you are grateful, your heart is open—open towards others, open for surprise. During big wake-up calls in your life, or in our collective lives, we often see remarkable examples of openness: strangers helping strangers often in heroic ways. Make contact with people whom you normally ignore—eye-contact at least—with the agent at the toll booth, the parking lot attendant, someone on the elevator. Look a stranger in the eyes today and realize that there are no strangers.

  4. You can feel either grateful or alienated, but never both at the same time. Gratefulness drives out alienation; there is not room for both in the same heart. When you are grateful you know that you belong to a network of give-and-take and you say "yes" to that belonging. This "yes" is the essence of love. You need no words to express it; a smile will do to put your "yes" into action. Don't let it matter to you whether or not the other one smiles back. Give someone an unexpected smile today and so contribute your share to peace on earth.

Brother David Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine monk who has spent the last 35 years building bridges between religious traditions. He is the author of Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer and other books.


Winter Persists

This photo tells the story of the last month here in Cache Valley. We've had a few, very few, nice days, but mostly the month of March has been snowy, windy and cold. Everyone talks about it; what a hard winter it's been. Of course, we all agree that we need the snowpack for our water supply and that the lakes and reservoirs will be full for a change - but still, the snow is getting old. Just ask this little mini-iris that was blooming in my front yard.
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