Thursday, August 8, 2013

Valentine's Day

 We were excited for Valentine's Day this year because we were having visitors! Michaels brother & family came to visit, which meant COUSINS!!!
 The girls took pixy sticks for their Valentine...we make them every year.
 My little Hallie was so adorable! I love dressing this little girl up!

Our totally awesome sister missionaries, Sister Berger and Sister Vander Does dropped by to do some service! They came and did dishes and vacuumed! They are so cute, and we love them!

Soccer Time

 Soccer is in the winter here for obvious reasons. Jillian was so excited to play again. She is a natural athlete and will probably do good at most sports! She was practically the only girl on her team. The other girl never came. At first she wasn't thrilled about this. She came home with questions like, "What does it mean when the boys tell me I am good, for a girl?" She showed up the boys most every game and actually turned out to be one of the best players on the team. She loved scoring goals! She had a total of 4 goals for the year, which isn't too bad!
 Don't make fun of our "grass" here...yes it is more like hay, but works!!!
 Jillian wasn't scared to go after the ball and get in there...even with the boys!

 Jillian played her friend Emma, on the purple team. She loved seeing her friends!
She can't wait for next season to start!

A Winter's Hike (Arizona Style)

 We love Arizona in the winter. It is beautiful! Nice weather to send all the kids outside! Over our Christmas break Michael and my brother Kyle, took Logan and Jillian down to Sara's crack for a hike! They had a blast!
 Jillian loves hiking...especially in her brand new boots that she got for her birthday! Little TURKEY!
 This is a bit tricky for the little kids, but they love the rope part.

 Jillian made sure to take her notebook to write down all sorts of stuff...not really sure what?

 The end of the trail takes you right down to the lake. Fun!

 Heading back! They had a great morning, as did I!!! Cleaning without the entire circus to mess it all up!

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't know about you, but I am always on a look-out for an amazing chocolate chip cookie. I am super picky when it comes to a cookie...I am not a soft chewy crisco cookies (barf) type person, and I don't enjoy the super crunchy cookie, like I grew up with! Actually, my favorite cookie is from the Old Grist Mill in Logan, Utah. It is thin, has an amazing vanilla buttery cookie flavor, and chewy with a bit of a soft textured outer crunch! YUMMY!!! I came across this recipe in a magazine, made some alterations, and gave it a try. It is a winner! I meant to take a picture but they vanished, somehow? Let me know if you enjoy!

Crispy-Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 1/2 good quality vanilla (this is where the cookie gets half of its flavor)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut (this is where you get the other delicious flavor)
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour...yes only 1/2 cup!
1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Beat butter, sugars, and salt together for 5 minutes, until fluffy. Don't skimp on this part. Add egg, vanilla, and soda, scraping down sides. Add oats, coconut, and flour; mix on low until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Let stand until oats are soften, about 30 mins. Bake on parchment paper, 3 inches apart. They spread out! Bake on 350 for 14 minutes. For crispier cookies, bake 2 minutes extra.