Cookie Waffles

Cookie Waffles were inspired by my Mother In law. She put chocolate chips in pancake batter. Obviously the next step was chocolate chips in waffles. Make it, eat it, and revel in the joy of your kids not complaining about breakfast. *Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Country Cooking.*

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 and 3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup hershey’s semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Beat eggs in large bowl until fluffy.

2. Beat in remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips) just until the batter is smooth.

3. Poor about 1/4 cup batter into waffle iron. Add a generous handful of chocolate chips to each waffle. Close lid to waffle iron.

4. Bake about five minutes or until steaming stops. Carefully remove waffles. Make sure you use a non stick spray on your waffle iron each time you make a waffle. Otherwise you’ll have burned chocolate all over your waffle iron. It’s not fun to clean up.

Makes about 12 cookie waffles.

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5 things I learned from my Dad

Fishing ain’t for sissies, but it is for girls..

I remember my seven year old self bursting with pride as I caught my very first trout at a fish farm. My Dad even made me watch as they cleaned the fish and then we ate it for dinner. I was a little horrified but still game to continue fishing. As I got older we fished at rivers, lakes and dams. He even taught me how to fly fish. It wasn’t until I was a lot older that I realized that most Dad’s took their son’s fishing, not their daughters. I feel like even then he was showing me that I could do anything.

Diversify your life…

Camping, photography, skiing, music, racing, archery, flying…there wasn’t much that my Dad hasn’t seen, done or pursued as a hobby. He liked to try new things. He worked hard and played hard during his free time. He never let the dust settle on his feet.

Show Affection…

My Dad hugged me frequently. He always told me he loved me and he hated the word goodbye. We never said goodbye we said see you later. The last time I saw my Dad he was dropping me off at the SLC airport. He openly cried and told me how much he loved me. He expressed his gratitude that I visited him with two small children in tow. It was a beautiful expression of his love for me that I didn’t appreciate at the time.

Own up to your mistakes…

Occasionally he would drag his feet but he always apologized when he was in the wrong. I remember a few times he came and said “I shouldn’t have lost my temper. I’m sorry.” He set a great example for all of us on being humble enough to recognize our errors and repent.

Go Big or Go Home…

Whatever my Dad pursued in life he went at it full throttle. My Dad joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as a teenager. He studied the Book of Mormon and was called on a 2 year mission to Canada. He dedicated his time to understanding the gospel principles. He served many people on his mission and throughout his life. He wasn’t perfect. But he was Focused. He had a goal and he wouldn’t quit until he was satisfied that he understood all that he could about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He applied that same focus to every aspect of his life. He pursued knowledge like most of us pursue new gizmo’s. He wouldn’t move onto a new hobby until he was certain that he had gleaned every tidbit about his current hobby. He lived the mantra, ‘Never Stop Learning.’

It’s been three years since my Dad passed away. I think of him frequently. And even though it gets easier that doesn’t make me miss him less. It doesn’t make me stop wishing I could talk to him or share things about my life with him. I am grateful for the time I had with my Dad and for the knowledge that one day I’ll see him again.

Airman_Basic_Apr1979

Zero to 9 months

The caboose (Jace) is INTENSE. She is not an easy going baby. At all. She wants to be held all the time. The first four months were so rough. She would scream the instant I put her down. She wouldn’t sleep by herself and she is definitely a Momma’s girl. To cope I would hold her all day and and sleep with her at night. It was the only way to get any sleep. Eventually Jace wanted to be put down so she could roll around and learn to crawl. That’s when I decided she would have to start sleeping in her crib. It was awful. Weeks and weeks of nothing but crying during naps and bed time. Eventually I gave up and just let her cry it out. I love my daughter but she is very strong willed. Now she sleeps in her crib for naps and bedtimes. She is getting a bit more independent. But she can still be very clingy. Oh and did I mention she hates the car? Any trip longer than 30 minutes and we are in for some very shrill screaming. Not ideal.

I wouldn’t change my choice to have the caboose. I love her dearly. However that doesn’t mean I don’t jump for joy when she’ll let someone else hold her and play with her. My husband tries, but I have to be in another room for her to be happy and play with him. Otherwise there is much wailing and gnashing of two tiny baby teeth.

Most of the time I put her in the living room with her two older siblings and I runaway to the kitchen to make dinner. Such a glamorous life I lead. Especially since I relish the opportunity to make dinner or clean the kitchen.

I really enjoy taking pictures of the caboose. To me she is adorable at all times and in all things and in all places. I love her smile and I love capturing all the mischief she gets into. For the last nine months I have been taking pictures of her every month to document her growth. I will continue this until she’s 1 year old. Possibly longer but no promises.

 

 

In the video you can see our Caboose age from day one to nine months in less than 2 minutes. Enjoy!

Chili Equals Fall Time

I love fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the changing leaves, the crisp weather and I love any excuse to serve chili. In my opinion this is the loveliest white chili. It turns a good fall day into perfection. Enjoy!

Creamy White Chili by Pauli Hansen

1lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon veg oil
2 15 oz cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
2 4 oz cans green chilies, chopped
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup sour cream 
1/2 cup heaving whipping cream (I used half and half)

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion, garlic powder in oil until the chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and heavy whipping cream. Serve immediately.

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Jace the Face

I fell of the blogging band wagon. I hope to do better from now on. So I feel like a recap is in order. Or a catch up in this case.

My husband decided it was time to leave the Army and transition into civilian life. So we moved to the in-laws the day after Christmas. We had our darling baby girl on Jan 23rd. And we moved again to a new city in northern Colorado in May. In August Princess turned 8 and she was baptized. I feel like this year has been nothing but big changes and our family trying to cope with it all.

First a birth story. Mostly just posting this for me. Feel free to skip this part.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. I failed the first glucose test. The second test I threw up right after I finished drinking the nasty glucose. So disgusting. Of course I threw up right in front of my good friend Angie. Who was also pregnant and also having a girl. Nothing brings women together like shared vomiting.

I was pretty uncomfortable and miserable. To add to this I can’t have sugar or chocolate to comfort myself. There was cheating on my birthday. Of course. I had to have raspberry truffle cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. DUH!

My doctor said he would induce but at the last minute he couldn’t. He was going out of town for vacation. I was so disappointed. I saw him Jan 22nd and I went home practically in tears. I thought this baby is never going to come out. I will be pregnant until she’s 18. Totally normal dramatic thinking caused by stress and hormones.

That night I went to bed pretty dejected. I woke up around 2 am to go to the bathroom. Again totally normal when there’s a baby pressing on your bladder 24/7. I noticed I had lost my mucas plug. I did a pregnancy happy dance and then woke up my husband. Maybe I would have the baby in a few days I thought. Hope filled me. I wouldn’t be pregnant forever. I tried to sleep but I was having mild contractions and I was too excited to sleep. I got up to take a shower. I was singing Uptown Girl by Billy Joel in my head.

I painted my toenails (a death defying trick when you’re 38 weeks pregnant) and went back to bed. 20 minutes after I laid down I felt like someone had pulled the plug on the bathtub full of water. It was definitely a glug, glug, glug sensation. I thought, ‘Did my water just break?’ Then I felt a trickle between my legs. I got out of bed as quickly as I could so I wouldn’t leak on the mattress. (Not cool Dave.)  I woke up Joel again and said we needed to make tracks to the hospital. Of course we got to Fort Carson right as every Army person is trying to get to PT. (Mandatory Exercise Time) Traffic was practically at a stand still. By this time my contractions were getting intense and seemed to be traveling down my legs. Also I was soaking wet. Not a comfortable car ride.

When I went into the hospital there was a trail of water behind me. Also a huge puddle of water on the wheelchair. I felt mortified and wanted my epidural badly. When I made it to the maternity ward the head nurse checked me. She confirmed my water was indeed broken (cause you know all that water on me was a fake out) and she said I was dilated to a four. There may have been a curse word said by me at this point. I confirm nothing. I was worried I wasn’t going to get an epidural in time. Princess had come very fast and I had her naturally. I did not want to repeat that experience. AT ALL.

But lucky for me the maternity ward wasn’t busy. So I got a room, and got an epidural pretty quickly. And at 1:23 pm on 1.23.2013 I gave birth to Jace Sylvia. She weighed 8 lbs 4 oz. My biggest baby. I was so grateful she came two weeks early. Otherwise I would have had a C-section.

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And so the caboose of our little family made her beautiful debut.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.