Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Delicious Pumpkin Cake

Today was our week to bring food to Bible Study.  I brought some chicken salad with grapes and almonds (DELISH!) and this yummy pumpkin cake.  I honestly have no clue where I found this recipe because it was hand-written (by me) in my cookbook, but I didn't put where I got it from.  It was so moist and delicious.  Here is the recipe and hope you all enjoy! 

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz canned solid packed pumpkin (I only found 15 oz)
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

4 oz cream cheese, softened
5 T melted butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4  c. powdered sugar
2 - 4 tsp milk (I used three)

1) Beat pumpkin, sugar and oil.  Add eggs and mix well.
2) In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add to pumpkin mixture and beat.  
3) Grease pan.  Pour batter into 15x10x1 jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.  ( I just baked for 25 and it was perfect). Cover with a towel after 15 minutes of cooling. (I kept mine covered all night and iced in the morning). 
4) Frosting - beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla in mixing bowl until smooth.  Gradually add sugar.  Add milk until frosting reaches desired thickness.  

NOTE:  A jelly roll pan is a cookie sheet with a 1 inch side.  I had to do some research for that..haha! 

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dreaming of Small Town Life

We took Avery to Oklahoma last weekend to see her great-grandparents and extended family.  We had not been since last September so we were really excited.  It happened that we were going the same weekend as Homecoming in Sallisaw, OK (where Josh's parents were raised).  Avery got to see her Great Granny Helen and her Bobo again.  Bobo turned 87 last month.  She really enjoyed him!  We had a blast and here are a few pics of our adventure. 
The morning after we arrived.  Bobo had an old phone for the kids to play with.  She loved it!!
Avery all dressed in her Black Diamonds shirt...she has school spirit!!!  The back of her shirt said "Avery" on it...thank you to Grandma and Aunt Susie!!  Before the game in addition to the Homecoming court, they wanted past Homecoming Queens to return.  Josh's mom was a Homecoming Queen so we got to see her cross the field too.  It was such a special experience to see the team-spirit and how the town rallies around the football team.  The unique part of their Homecoming is they announce the Queen the week prior.  The day of the game there is a pep rally at the Elementary with the football players and Homecoming court present.  Then there is a parade in the center of town and Pep Rally at the stadium for the students.  Then the game happens that night.
After the pep rally, we went to see Avery's second and third cousins, Kristen and Michaela on their float.  Kristen is the pretty girl between the two megaphones smiling.  Michaela is the adorable one on the left end with her poms near her face.  Avery loved both of these girls!!
Some of the football team during the parade on an old Firetruck.  How cool is this!  Josh's uncle, Gus, was the Fire Chief in Sallisaw.  He passed away after fire in 1994.  The fire station is named in honor of him.  It is really special!

Our little family.  Me....27 weeks pregnant! 
Josh's parents with Granny Helen and Avery and I.  I tried to find an orange Sallisaw shirt the day of the game, but all the stores were sold out...ok, maybe not sold out but not sized for a pregnant mommy!
Avery in her cute dress from Avery's cousins, Donna Kay and Michaela.  It was a little cool so we had to put a shirt and leggings under it, but she was so cute in it.  This is the one time I don't mind the Texas heat because she can wear it even at home for Halloween!
Avery with Great-Granny Helen! 
JR/PaPa, Josh's father, and his mom, Great Granny Helen with Avery. 
Avery was obsessed with Michaela's braces.  She just wanted to touch them every time we saw her.  Too cute! 
Avery and PaPa with cousin, Kristen...she was decked out in school spirit!!
They had about 40 plus past Homecoming Queens.  I completely blanked on the release mode for my camera so I couldn't catch while Judy was walking. 
Judy/Grandma with Lani (Josh's cousin, Mike's wife)...they were both Homecoming Queens. 
Ok, here is the Homecoming court.  It was like a mini wedding to me....the Homecoming Court were in all matching black dresses (like bridesmaids) and the Queen was dressed in a big poofy orange dress (like an orange wedding dress).  Did I tell you that they were dressed in formals during the Pep Rally too?  Different dresses.  It was a huge event!!!  Homecoming was a blast, and they beat the pants off the other team!! 
Enjoying a waffle.  She had already soaked herself in syrup and her shirt had to come off.  She recently started saying "Cheese" when she sees the camera, though we have never told her to say that.  Not sure where she picked that up. 
Checking out her Bobo
Just love this picture! 
 Our girl is just growing up too fast....17 months already! 
Boy, did Avery have a ball.  
Avery loves her PaPa...she loves all of her grandparents!!
Avery's second cousins, Kristen and Matthew, were so sweet to her.  She got to see all of her second cousins, but unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of all of them together.  I wish I had.  
 I found a tootsie pop from the parade the day before...I had it in my mouth and Avery came and took it from me.  I guess since she had a Dum Dum, she thought this was hers. 
 Another reason, it was a great weekend to visit, was the Josh's grandmother, Granny Helen, sold her liquor store that she has owned for over 40 years.  She took over the store when her husband passed away.  She is in her 70's and has worked so hard.  JR and his sister, Diane, were helping do a final inventory before she sold the store.  Congrats on Retirement, Granny Helen!!!!
Avery and her cousin, Matthew.  He read her The Nose Book about 10 times.  She loved it. 
 Josh's cousin, Mike, was smoking chickens.  Bobo loves sitting in the garage and calls it his parlor.  Once we started eating food, the flies came out. Josh was hanging water bags so they would stay away.  Avery couldn't wait to get on the step stool. 
 Avery with her second cousins, Emma and Gus (named after Josh's uncle - her Pepa). 
Whew, it was a whirlwind trip...we had a ball!!!  We hope it isn't a year until we return again, but we know we will have a new baby with us!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First flight and few tips for Mom....

Avery took her first flight to Tulsa, OK this past weekend.  We were excited and nervous all at the same time.  I did a lot of research and wanted to make sure we were prepared.  I had her cute Vera Bradley bag all packed and ready to go.

Avery's Flight Carry-On included:
Lunch-kit with graham crackers, club crackers, goldfish, cheerios, organic cereal bars, yogurt, spoon and two empty sippy cup.
Colors and ElmoColoring Book with stickers (blank paper too)
Brand new Magnadoodle
2 Favorite board books
Favorite puppy
Baby doll
Mini DVD player (courtesy of my sister - thank you Kris!)
2 Elmo DVDs and Finding Nemo (which she had never seen)
4 Dum Dums suckers
5 pacifiers

By far, the hit was the Magnadoodle and was the best for pregnant mommy that had to bend over the carseat to get everything that fell on the floor.  The snacks were a hit too, but the best were the cereal bars.  Note:  goldfish and cheerios not a great idea since you would have to have cup or bowl to put them in (airplane drink cup works though).  Yogurt...really bad idea for a child that wants to eat it with her hands rather than the spoon. The two sippy cups were great because I put water in one and then added some apple juice to it.  She did not like it so I was able to get plain water in the other. 

The Dum Dums were also a lifesaver.  I gave them to her on the decent of both flights which really helped when she started hitting her head because her ears hurt.  I am not sure it took the popping of her ears completely away, but it sure kept her mind off it because she had never had one before. 

The multiple pacifiers were a huge help because once they landed on the floor it went back into the bag for cleaning.

We used the DVD player on the return flight as a last resort.  I didn't want to get it out, but the flight home was more difficult since she had only had a 45 minute nap that day.  She was beyond tired but didn't want to sleep.  She enjoyed seeing Elmo, but she didn't love the headphones too much.

Lastly, I would highly suggest paying for the Passenger Seat for an infant rather than carrying them.  We thought we might just pass Avery around since Josh, myself and his mother were all on the plane together.  I am so thankful we didn't.  She was so comfortable in her car-seat and never once tried to get out of it.  Thank you Grandma Judy and PaPa for the Passenger Seat for Avery!  It was a God-send!!!  Another note, if you do purchase a seat, pin a sign on your child that says "Paid Passenger."  We were asked three times on one flight if she had a paid seat.

When we arrrived in Tulsa, Avery was flirting with the man behind us.  I said to him "I hope she wasn't too loud."  He said "Did she sleep the entire time?"  She didn't sleep a wink....I was proud of my baby girl.  Return trip not so hot, but we forgive her!

Ok, I think I have shared enough of my little wisdom I learned.  Oh, one more thing...I am thinking of inventing some kind of net to catch all the things that fall during the flight so you won't have to bend yourself into a contortionist to pick everything up.

Here are some pics of our little Angel on her first flight.  Trip pics to come!  Just a little teaser...we went to Homecoming in where Josh's parent's grew up, Sallisaw, OK.  It was a trip!  I can't wait to share everything...it made me wish we lived in a small town. 

DISCLAIMER:  This is my old camera and the pics are horrible but none the less, I didn't want to lug the monster camera out of the bag while trying to balance keeping Avery entertained. 
The girl wouldn't leave the telephone alone behind the check-in counter at the gate. She almost threw a hissy fit and fell onto the nasty carpet.  Challenging twos are getting close...not going to say "terrible twos" because she is too cute and sweet to have that. 
Still chatting away!
To lure her away from the check-in counter...my cell phone.  Hard to believe that a 17 month old looks so comfortable using the blackberry.  Could it be that Mommy uses it a little too much?  By the way, don't you love her pigtails?  Her teacher at school put them in for her.  That is about the only way she will let me fix her hair.  No bows!
In her seat and ready to take off.  Pacifier is definitely a must for the flight so sorry moms that think I should break her of it.  I will do before two!

Doing a little Sky Mall shopping.
The Magnadoodle that saved the day!  Whoever invented this is my hero!
Doing some light reading. 
Last but not least...I thought she should eat something besides snacks for her dinner.  Smart mom got out her yogurt! 

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just a few things...

Well, hello there!!  I am trying hard to keep up with blogging and things just keep getting busy.  Josh worked a lot of overtime this past week so I was busy running around getting our family ready for our big trip to Oklahoma.  This was going to be Avery's first flight!  More to come in the next post for that.

I had some random pics that I wanted to post.  We celebrated Josh's mom's birthday a few weeks ago.  We went to a great pizza place in Town Center called Grimaldi's.  It is really cool for kids because they bring each child a pizza pan with dough and flour on it.  It kept Avery busy for quite a while.  This was the only picture I took before my battery died.  Judy will probably kill me for posting this, but I loved Avery's look on her face.  Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

On another note, take a look at Avery's cool, new high chair.  It is by Phil and Ted Me Too.  It was a birthday gift from one of my best friends, Brooke.  It just too cool, and she loves it.  It clamps to pretty much any table.  Avery likes it because it places her in the same level as those at the table instead of down lower.  Here is a link.  Thank you again sweet Wagner family.  They loved it so much that they have one in the car and one at home.  It is perfect for both!

Avery went to her friend, Riley's 3rd birthday party. It was such a cute Strawberry Shortcake party.  The kiddos destroyed her play area in the house.  Avery was mesmerized by the child's vacuum.  I didn't get a picture of Avery and Riley together, but Riley was dressed so cute!!
FINALLY COMPLETE!!!!   The stocking turned out better than I could have imagined.  My mom helped me get Avery's name on the stocking in sequins because the kit just gives you pseudo-instructions for how to plain embroider it on there.  I could get the most out of the space with a lower-case letter so I had to go with it.  I haven't started another one yet, but I am getting the itch to have something to do....oh, then I realized I have 92 days until Baby Girl is due, and I have a TON to do!!

Thursday is 3D Ultrasound and 1 hour gestational diabetes test!  Hoping and praying for the best!  Pics from Oklahoma trip to come. 

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