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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Huffman Family Christmas

We had the Huffman Family Christmas party last weekend in Kalamazoo.  It was great seeing everyone and watching all the crazy kid run around!  Thanks to Ed & Jill for planning everything this year and finding a gymnasium to help give the kids some room to play!


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gingerbread Lane

Last Christmas I took Michaela to the Gingerbread Lane program at the Caledonia KDL.  She loved going to the library, listening to Christmas music and most of all decorating her very own gingerbread house.  In fact, that little house was out for our viewing pleasure well into Spring when finally I slipped it into the trash one day.

When I saw that the new Kentwood library would be having a program this year in their new building I signed Michaela up immediately.  We listened to Ms. Helene, the children's librarian, read a story to the kids and then they were set loose to make their gingerbread houses.  Basically it's a bunch of graham crackers stuck to a small milkbox with icing.  The kids loved it though and I'm sure Michaela wasn't the only one who ate as much candy and treats as she decorated with.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate Monster

Dani is affectionately known around here as "The Baby Monster" whenever Michaela wants to pretend to be scared of her baby sister.  Some days I think this moniker is more on the money than we could ever have dreamed...

Here is Dani after she found a piece of leftover chocolate meal bar from Michaela's breakfast.  When I discover her with 'big people food' that she's not supposed to have she usually turns her back to me and then tries to crawl away as quick as possible.  

This look says it all...

Oh, and did I mention I had just given her a bath?  Yep, less than 1 hour before this she was sitting in the tub getting all cleaned up.   Dani will definitely be keeping me on my toes for many years to come...

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yep, try saying that 5 times fast. ;)  This is a favorite recipe of ours and I end up making double batches multiple times throughout the winter months.  It's very tasty and I convince myself that the oatmeal and cherries makes them healthy (don't even try to burst my bubble on that either).

1/2 cup stick butter (cold from the fridge turns out best)
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda
1/2  tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup all purpose flour (plus)

3 cups old fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 - 1 cup dried cherries

Heat oven to 375

Mix wet ingredients in order listed.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to wet ingredients.  Add oats and then hand mix in chocolate chips and cherries to personal taste. 

*I always need to add additional flour to thicken up the mixture.  Depending on how the batch looks it's usually an extra cup to cup and a half of flour, but I add this in by hand before the chocolate chips and cherries.

Bake 9-11 minutes or until light golden brown (centers may still look under done but are usually ready).

Immediately remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.  You can also make cookie bars with them in a 8x8x2 pan that is ungreased (bake approx 25 min).

Makes approx 3 dozen cookies

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Too Big

Tonight Dani tried to take another few steps.  Every day she is becoming more and more confident in standing up with no support (not holding anything) and she practically runs when using her walking toys.

But tonight she got so excited to see me come say 'hi' to her while I was baking cookies that she let go of the couch and took a step towards me.  She had the biggest smile on her face and was squealing with joy and I was nearly in tears with how big my 'baby' is getting.  After her attempt at a second consecutive step failed I scooped her up for a hug and held on tight.

I think this milestone is more bittersweet than it was with Michaela because I know I won't be going through these stages again and I'm trying to soak them up as much as possible this time around.

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