Sunday, January 31, 2010

A hard couple of weeks.......Let's make cookies!!

We have had a tough couple of weeks. Not the most trying of times, but things just haven't gone quite right the last couple of weeks. Two weeks ago we were getting ready to FINALLY get out of the house and go to the Jelly Belly Factory. The snacks were packed, kids dressed in their cutest clothes, and we were putting the car seats back in the van. Derek was tightening the straps, went to get out of the van, stood up too early right into the door of the van, and suffered a mild concusion.

With all the rains we had here, part of our fence blew down (luckily it is currently being held up by our neighbors trees) and the girls window leaked, ran down the back of the wall, and underneath their carpet. I had to pull up the carpet and let it dry out.

A family member was backing out of our driveway (our driveway has a slight curve in it and a lamp post you have to watch out for, it is very tricky), a pickup (that was replacing Derek's car windshield) was double parked with it's tailgate down and it was dark and you couldn't see the tailgate was down. Our van was backed into the tailgate and ripped down the bumper. So now our van is in the shop until next week.

But Presley doesn't seem to realize it's been a hard couple of weeks. And besides, cookies make everyone happy!!

Baker girl!Slurp!!All clean??I missed some!!The best part!Yum!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Zucchini brownies!!

I have been looking for recipes to try with Landon. Right now he is just eating sugar cereal and an occasional grilled cheese sandwich. He loves cookies and chips, so I thought I would try to find something more healthy that resembled a treat. I have tried making homemade power bars, but no luck. I think I need something in the shape of a cookie. I saw these and thought I would try them. They were EXCELLENT!! I found the recipe at You can also link to the recipe directly by going to


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners' sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

I followed the directions exactly, except I didn't put in the walnuts. I did peel the zucchinis before I grated them. I was a little worried when I put the batter in in the pan because it was nothing like regular brownie batter and actually had to be spooned into the pan because it was too thick to pour. I had read the reviews and everyone said that the water in the zucchini would be extracted during baking and the brownies would be moist. Yep!! These seriously are sooo good!! This is our new favorite brownie recipe!

Everybody loved them!! Except Landon. He smelled them (he does this to all food) and then put it back down. I need to put some in his mouth for him because he really does like chocolate, though his sensory issues keep him from trying things that he would like.

I noticed that there are cookie recipes also made out of zucchinis. I think I will have to try those too!!
Brownie faceBathtime!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stretching your fabric softener

I found this fabric softener recipe when I was looking for laundry soap recipes. I have been using it and I LOVE it!! This is from the Duggar family at

1 Container of Name Brand Fabric Softener

4 Inexpensive sponges, cut in half

Pour entire container of softener into a 5 gallon bucket. Fill empty softener container with water twice. (2 parts water to 1 part softener) Add sponges to softener/water mixture. When ready to use wring out extra mixture from one sponge and add to the dryer as you would a dryer sheet.

I don't have 19 kids, so I definitely don't need a 5 gallon bucket of this!! I use a disposable container and put 1 part softener to 2 parts water. I really like my laundry to smell good, so I use 2 sponge halves instead of just 1 for each load.

Even if Derek and I weren't pinching our pennies right now, I would still use this. My clothes have never felt softer or smelled better, seriously!! I have been using this for about 6 weeks and we have only used 6 capfuls of fabric softener. We have 4 kids and a dog that sheds, so I do a LOT of laundry!!

There is a downside. This is a little messy. We have a sink in our laundry room, but a towel would work too to dry off your hands.

I have all the ingredients for the homemade laundry soap, but I haven't made it yet because I haven't run out of the store bought kind yet. I will post about that when I make it!!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Presley's Adoption Timeline

  • 8/15/2007 - Received referral for Geneva!
  • 9/13/2007 - Sent LOI (letter of intent) to our agency
  • 9/29/2007 - LOI was sent to China!
  • 10/08/2007 - LOI was delivered to the CCAA in China
  • 10/29/2007 - PA (pre-approval) was issued!!
  • 1/15/2008 - DTC (dossier to China)
  • 1/18/2008 - Dossier delivered to CCAA
  • 1/25/2008 - LID (log-in date)
  • 4/1/2008 - LOA (letter of acceptance)
  • 4/25/2008 - CCAA issues TA (travel approval)
  • 5/22/2008 - Leave for China!!!
  • 5/25/2008 - Met our sweet Lexi!
  • 5/26/2008 - Discovered Lexi had brain damage
  • 5/30/2008 - Met precious Presley!
  • 6/7/2008 - Arrived home

My Family

My Family
My favorite people!!