Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It's that time of year when the leaves are turning and the apples are abundant... We have gone a little apple crazy around here. I have discovered a new apple crisp recipe and it has become a favorite. There is something comforting about the scent of apples and cinnamon wafting through the house on a cool fall evening. It is so good that you need to share in the experience (at least visually)!

Here is the recipe. It's from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook...
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 in pieces and softened
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

3 pounds apples (6-8), peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1. For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together. Add the butter and toss to coat. Pinch the butter chunks and dry mixture between your fingertips until the mixture looks like crumbly wet sand. Add the nuts and toss to incorporate. Refrigerate the topping for at least 15 minutes before baking.

2. For the filling: Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the apples, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest, together and place in an 8-inch-square glass or ceramic baking dish or 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Distribute the chilled topping evenly over the fruit.

3. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is deep golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!!

And don't forget the to save something for the chickens (the ultimate in recycling)!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


"People often say that in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing." --- Walter H. Judd

Just a reminder that next Tuesday, November 4th is election day. Whether you're a republican, democrat, independent, give yourself a voice and vote! In Oregon we vote by mail so my hubby and I made it fun. We took all of our stuff and went out to dinner and voted while we were waiting. Get creative and make it a memorable experience or just get it done at home. Either way, get out and vote you'll be glad you did!!!

Don't forget to mail your vote! In Oregon it has to be at the Clerk's office by election day (in other words it can't be post marked)...

Pat yourself on the back for a job well done...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baby Kaden has Arrived!

My niece Bree had Kaden Saturday afternoon. According to Bree he is the cutest baby ever born! A perfect response for any new mom... He is perfect and so cute...

These are my two babies holding Bree's baby...

Grandma Ronda and Great Aunt Laurie...

Kaden's first trick or treat basket...

Welcome to the world Kaden, you are adorable!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Meet Rebecca, Luke and Faith... these are my adorable nieces and nephew. They are the most creative kids you'll ever meet. They can draw, craft, sew, tell great stories, and they carve a mean pumpkin!!!

Good job guys! Thanks for staying at my house last weekend! I can't wait for next time. Love, Aunt Laurie!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby Alert!

"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God--you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration--what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

Your thoughts--how rare, how beautiful!" ---The Message

We can't wait to meet you baby Kaden!

Last Saturday we had a baby shower for my niece Bree who is due in just a few weeks! The shower was at my sister-in-law Debbie's house and was co-masterminded by Debbie and my niece Kelly. They did a fantastic job putting it all together... Shown above from left to right: Liz, Chelsea, Bree, Kelly, Kira...

Everything looked so beautiful...

and the food was great...

the people were even more great and beautiful...

(Left to right: Bree's friend Liz, her sister Kira, her mom Ronda, friend Kelly)

(friends Alice and Sheryl)

(my daughter Chelsea , and Bree)
(Kelly, Me, Chelsea)

(this is Shawna: Bree's cousin, Debbie's daughter, my niece, Ronda's niece, Kelly's sister etc...)

(this is Bree's Grandma Carolyn, this picture is not from the baby shower she must have been
hiding from my camera, but there is no escaping, if you don't know her than you have to meet her... She loves all of us so much and is so good to us. She spoiled Bree with bag after bag of the cutest clothes, blankets, little accessories... Baby Kaden is set for a long time!)

(Sidney and Noel... are they the cutest???)

(this is Kira, Bree's sister)

(Kelly and Chelsea)

(we had a few unruly guests and Debbie had to (ahem) take them under her wings or was it the other way around???)

It was a magical, beautiful day...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Off to College

Chelsea is off to college. She is at the University of Oregon and is having a great time! This is such a big milestone not only for her but for Gary and I as her parents. I have reflected often these past several weeks on Chelsea, motherhood, letting go, youth etc. etc. There are so many mixed emotions that go with seeing your first born leave home. It seems like she was just going off to her first day of first grade, then I blinked and she was headed off to college. Chelsea has grown into a very beautiful, competent young woman. It is with great anticipation that we will be watching her over the next few years... Go Chelsea!!!

Dad and Chelsea in her dorm room

Mom and Chelsea. I just finished having my first (and only) melt down. Every mother is entitled to at least one. I sucked it up and stayed strong the rest of the time!

Chelsea in her new home for the next year...

So have a great time Chelsea, eat healthy, don't stay up too late, study hard, get good grades, and don't do anything I wouldn't do... Do any of you have words of wisdom for Chelsea???