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    Here’s to Fall!

    Saturday, August 28th, 2010

    Oh, it has been a while, hasn’t it. Can I claim I was just taking the summer off? Let’s just go with that. :)

    Looking back over my “yay, it’s summer!” post, I have to be pleased with what we actually accomplished this summer. Lots of swimming, lots of playing with friends, lots of reading, (both by little miss and to the little miss and her sister), and a decent amount of organization.

    And now it’s time for fall. I love autumn, I really do. I love the shift in the weather; the cool mornings are  inspiring to me in a different way than the bright, sunny mornings of summer tend to be. I love the feeling of new beginning that a school year starting brings.

    Around here we’re planning out our school year (ABC school for the 2 year old, a year of Book Adventures for the 4 year old) , as well as planning lots of art projects, field trips, and time with nothing much at all planned.  I’m trying to get back on my cleaning schedule- it works so well when I’m actually on top of it!- and attempting to cull the clutter overtaking my house. All of which I will hopefully write about here.

    Do you have any great fall plans? Do share!

    Chocolate Cherry Cookies

    Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

    The best thing, well, one of at least, about being an adult is not having to wait for cookies. Right now, it’s getting late in the evening, but I just pulled a batch of warm cookies out of the oven. Baked because it’s going to rain tonight (I hope) and it’s fall and my husband and I just wanted cookies. Sometimes you have to give in and let go and bake cookies.

    To this end, I am sharing a recipe. I love these cookies. Addictive, easy, and almost healthy. But don’t let that stop you from whipping up a batch when the mood strikes. Go on. Share some with someone you love.

    Chocolate Cherry Cookies

    makes about 3 dozen

    Ingredient List:

    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

    1 cup packed brown sugar

    2 eggs

    1 tablespoon vanilla

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

    2 cups rolled oats

    1 cup high-fiber cereal with flakes and twigs (I use “Twigs Flakes and Clusters” from Trader Joe’s. Kashi “Good Friends” is another good choice)

    1 cup dried cherries, sour cherries are the best

    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Cream together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat until well incorporated.

    In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and spices.

    In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, cereal, cherries and chocolate chips.

    Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and slowly blend (on low if using a stand mixer) until just mixed. Add the oat mixture and blend (on low if using a stand mixer) until the dough comes together and the ingredients are distributed fairly evenly throughout.

    The dough will be very soft and clumpy because of all the good stuff in there.

    Drop dough in rounded tablespoon fulls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Make sure to keep the dough mounded–the cookies will flatten out in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes or until the centers are just set but still look a bit underdone. Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

    The cookies will keep for about a week in an air-tight container. But I doubt you’ll be able to keep them around that long.

    Wonderfully Well

    Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

    “You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you, and He will bless you, even – no, especially – when your days and your nights may be most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master’s garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and weep over their responsibility as mothers, ‘Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole’. And it will make your children whole as well” (“Because She Is a Mother,” 37).

    -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

    I need validation. We all do. And motherhood often feels like it comes with very little of it. Even if it did I think our overly-critical self examination would render it null and void. Yet somehow, when Elder Holland says that I have been fulfilling my role as a mother ‘wonderfully well’, I believe him. I believe him because I know that the Savior has given me strength beyond my own when I have come to him feeling broken and weary. I know that He accepts my very best efforts and understands the days when my very best effort is nothing more than making sure that my family is fed and clothed. I know that He is perfectly patient and honors his covenant to extend forgiveness to the repentant. I know that He sees my full potential as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a Daughter of God. I know this because I have felt it, experienced it, been comforted, lifted and healed by it. I know that it is often ‘with hesitation and some embarrassment’ that I fight through my own pride, doubt and imperfections to ask for His help. How comforting it is to know that my timid, uncertain pleas are enough. It is enough because He has taken my load and bears it for me. It is enough because, today, it is my best. I am grateful for moments where I see clearly and see the blessings that I call ‘mine’ and perhaps glimpse the smallest sight of who He truly is and who He knows I can become. It is those times that make me want to keep trying, knowing that He thinks I am doing wonderfully well.