Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake (3)

Occasionally the craving for a sweet treat hits
so we go looking for something to bake.
This is a favorite coffee cake of ours from
my sister in law Lisa.
It’s simple, easy to make and so delicious.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (1)

It calls for blueberries,
but we substitute other fruits sometimes.
This time I used wild raspberries that the kids picked.
I’m planning to make it again this week
with some blueberries I have in the refrigerator.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

1/2 C butter- softened
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
-cream together
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sour cream
-Mix well.
1-2 C blueberries
add & stir
Put in a greased 9×13 pan.

Topping:
4 TBSP butter – melted
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C flour.
-mix and crumble on top of batter.

Bake @ 350* for 25-30 min.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (2)

Enjoy!

$2 Water

Once upon a time,
a girl set up shop outside the back door.
She carried out her chairs, a board
and many, many other things.
She made her signs, taped them with care,
and then sat down to wait on customers.

R drinks (1)
Along came the first customer.
He needed a drink of fresh cold water,
“How much for a cup?” he asked.
“That will be $2.” said she.
“But I don’t have $2.” he countered.
She was quite firm on her price,
“You have a wallet don’t you?
I know you have more than $2 in there.”
“But I don’t want to spend my real money for water!”
“Well, then you don’t get any because I only take real money. I need $2!”

R drinks (2)
It was sometime during this exchange
that their mother came upon the scene
and overheard this conversation.
She had a little chat with the seller of water
and convinced her that payment of leaves would work just as well.
A bit disgruntled, she agreed to sell for leaves,
but they must be big ones!

R drinks (3)
And so it was that they brought their “money”
and gave to the seller in exchange for a drink.

R drinks (5)
These sips of water were ever so much tastier
than water which ones does not need to pay for.

R drinks (4)
Checking the size of the money to insure proper payment.
One can never be too careful,
siblings are known to take advantage of you.

R drinks (6)
The buying and selling continued peacefully for a time
and many, many sips of water were consumed.

R drinks (7)
While accumulating more money I heard,
“Mother, you’ve always said money does not grow on trees.
I have just proved you wrong!”

R drinks (8)
The seller of water soon grew weary of her limited selection
and begin to add to her market stand.
You will now find a wide variety of items for sale
just outside the back door,
all for only a few big leaves.

When Friends Visit

Do you have friends who know all about you,
who you are so comfortable with that it just doesn’t matter
what you say or do, you know they will understand.
We’ve heard each other’s hearts, listened to their cry,
laughed at stories, rolled our eyes at each other
and we are are still friends.
Yes, that kind of friend.

Last week friends came for the day,
this kindred spirit kind of friends.
Not all of our group was able to be here,
but at least these ladies came,
and their kids, we can’t forget them!

Ladies (1)

Ladies (4)
My little helper and I got the porch company ready.
It was forecast to be a warm day, but we used the porch anyway.
When you have a group this size, you need a bigger space than the kitchen.

Ladies (3)
She wanted to pick the eggs out of the nest.

Ladies (6)
Although we all live within an hour of each other,
we don’t get together often enough.

Ladies (5)
And speaking of the kids …
there were a lot of them, primarily girls!
If they didn’t know each other well before,
they did before they went home.

Ladies (7)
We had good food of course.
I didn’t make any of it, they brought it all.
That is what you call a good friend!

Ladies (8)

Ladies (10)
Whew. Finally, the kids are fed and on their way, now it’s our turn!

Ladies (12)

Ladies (11)
Since the kids took care of themselves for the most part,
we spent the rest of the day here.
It was one of those mind and soul refreshing days.
Time spent with friends is never wasted!

Now I’m ready for another porch party.
Who is next?

These Days

Summer time has hit with a bang.
Busy all the time.
Weather has warmed up considerably.
The kids say they are ” sooooooo hoooooooot!”
I think they have already forgotten Jan.
The kiddie pool was filled.
And, then emptied due to a floating mouse.

The lawn keeps creeping up around our knees.
The dog rips over to the neighbors all the time.
One unhappy Mama has to go haul him home.
We have a wild case of poison ivy on 2 kids.
Company is coming, cleaning to be done.
Kids to organize with jobs…
One child comments, “I can’t wait to have kids to boss!”
And the mom flops into bed, exhausted.

6-8
This toad has taken up residence in a window well.
I would like to warn him for his own safety
that it would be best to find a new home.
Kennedy and Dakota catch him and play with him all the time.

6-4
The swing set is in constant motion while the laundry flops in the wind.

blog 6-11 (5)
All the swings are the same,
yet they always fight for the same one, every time.

blog 6-11 (3)
Samson loves to make his presence known with a big lick.
He will go lie down then, but there’s usually a greeting first.

blog 6-11 (4)

blog 6-11 (6)
Him + Her = frenemies.
If that is a new word to you,
take a close look at your children’s relationship with each other.
One moment, best friends.
Next moment, fierce fighting enemies!
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

~~~

6-3
The other day I hit the grocery store with all four of them.
I thought I just might lose my mind that day.
It was the busiest day of the month,
there really couldn’t have been many people still at home, I’m sure.
We were close to the only ones in Walmart not dressed in pajamas,
the lines were beyond long and all the people were whiny.
My gang was all getting a little testy to say the least.

After bagging our groceries at Aldi,
we walked past a lady and she stopped me and asked,
“Would it be ok if I gave your kids each a dollar for helping you so well?”
Wow. Didn’t know she was watching us.
She didn’t have enough ones so she gave me a 5 dollar bill and said,
“Go buy them some ice cream!”
And so we did.
~~~

blog 6-11 (8)
This is the newest rage here.
Cool whip bowls work for anything, hats, to carry things,
to hide stuff in, and including a potty when Moms not looking.

blog 6-11 (7)
He was eating Oreos and trying to keep the crumbs out of the water.
If you could see the water, you would shudder.
It was cluttered with grass and leaves.
~~~

blog 6-11 (1)
Meet Miss Sassy Pants.
We’re switching her name from Little One to Sassy.
The kids laugh and think it’s funny, but the mom doesn’t usually.
I told her to smile for a picture.
She says, “Cheeeeeese!”
Dakota, off to the side sounds in with his own “cheeeeeese!”
She glared at him and says, “This is not your cheese, it’s mine cheese!”
and promptly start smiling and cheesing again.
~~~

One reason I do not care for spaghetti.
6-5
sluuuuuurppppp
~~~

blog 6-11 (9)
I told this toad to find a new home.
This time she brought him in the house.
That is only one of the reasons we clean for company!

Happy weekend to you.

When Aunts Come to Visit

Once upon a time, a long time ago,
I received a phone call from a far away Aunt.
“Will you be home May 30th?”
“Well, since it’s a few months out,
I suppose I can be. Why?”

“We’re coming to visit!”

Well in that case, pack your bags,
I will be home, no matter what.

My Dad has six sisters and I have
fond memories of them from when I was a kid
and still love to visit with them now.
To say the least, I was quite excited about this.

In the months following this phone call,
all kinds of projects that had been left unattended,
now received their due attention.
The Aunts were coming.

Since they are spread across the map now,
they get together occasionally for a birthday,
or just to spend time with the sisterhood.
Sharon turned 50 in May so they were spending
a few days together to celebrate her.
I felt very honored that they were coming to see me
for part of their trip.
Sadly, two of them couldn’t make it
and we missed you!

Mom and Sarita decided to come and join the party.
Aunts  (1)
Thursday night we spent some time sitting around the fire relaxing.
All kinds of things flew on Friday and we were done working in record time.

Aunts  (2)
Saturday morning bright and early, we started getting things ready.
We knew when the Aunts were due to arrive
and wanted to be done working a little early.
We had plans for them …

Aunts  (3)
Four old ladies were all dressed and ready to be the welcoming committee.

Aunts  (4)
Two of the old ladies were actually quite young,
but were happy to pretend they were old.
Slippers and canes, lipstick and pink cheeks.

Aunts  (5)
These old ladies are still quite flexible
and can help little boys push jeeps should the need arise.
They also have occasional issues with padding falling
out of place here and there.

We waited and waited …
… finally we heard a vehicle slow and turn into the drive.
One old lady was down in the lawn with her cane,
waving them in.
Aunts  (6)
For a minute they weren’t sure they had arrived at the right house.
We all hobbled to greet them and make them feel welcome.

Aunts  (7)
::let the party begin::

Aunts  (8)
Once the old ladies changed to their normal attire,
we relaxed on the front porch for a while.
It was so good to have them here!

Aunts  (9)

Aunts  (10)
The day was beautiful to be outside,
don’t let the Florida birds fool you with their sweaters.

Aunts  (11)
We spend the afternoon catching up
and watching Libby take a splash in the tub.
Our talk hit just about every subject,
from reminiscing, relatives, and on to future plans.

Aunts  (12)
The poor jeep got a workout, but lived to tell about it.

Aunts  (14)
Another round of food, chatter and chasing kids.

Aunts  (13)
Madison made a rich chocolate cake for supper.
There were a few chocolate lovers
that were happy to help her eat it since her mother won’t.

All too soon it was late
and they were ready to head out.
I am blessed with family I love
and I am so thankful they took the time
to come visit me and my family.
We won’t forget this day for a long time.
Thank you Aunts for coming!
We loved it.

Memorial Camping

Growing up for me,
everything was orderly, on time,
things were planned in advance,
you pretty much knew what was happening when.

Got married and as usual, opposites attract.
You do the math.

This would be the reason the subject of camping
was brought up on Sat and a few hours later,
there we all were, camping in my in-laws back yard.

I won’t lie and say it never stresses me out,
this method of madness,
but it usually works out pretty good
(if I just relax).

If we had all been able to come for the weekend,
it would have been chalked up as “family camping”
for the year, but a few had previous plans.
This just gives us reason for another weekend together.

MemDayCamping (1)

Weather wise, it was as if we had pre-ordered it.
It was perfection.

Lots of fishing and swimming happened.
If you look closely, you’ll see that only one man in the boat
seems to be working, while everyone else watches from the shore.

MemDayCamping (4)
Sometimes the most simple things entertain the best.

MemDayCamping (5)
“How does a fishing trip sound to you, girl?”

MemDayCamping (6)
“I would love to but I think our Moms prefer
we sit here and splash in this puddle.”

MemDayCamping (7)
For now, they are besties.
We hope it continues.

MemDayCamping (8)
The gang on the pond were pretty much the only swimmers.
Anyone older could only think of such things as slime and fish nibbles,
and anyone younger was stuck in a kiddie pool.
But what a party these guys had,
swimming, paddling, and rowing their way around
for much longer than I would have lasted.

MemDayCamping (10)
Tiny, the dog, went for a ride too.
I’m pretty sure he was exhausted until the weekend was over.

MemDayCamping (9)
This is the life, they say!
They would run half way across the lawn to jump in,
but just as they got to the pool they would stop,
step over the side and carefully sit down.

MemDayCamping (11)
When the gang was done in the pond,
Amanda made a water slide for them.
That took up a whole lot of their time and Grandma’s soap.
If the noise from this direction was any indication,
they were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

MemDayCamping (13)
Grandpa gave gator rides, as only Grandpa’s can.

MemDayCamping (14)
They usually started off by driving around the pond
and we don’t know where all they went from there.

MemDayCamping (15)
Lots of time sitting around the fire talking and eating.
One highlight was an engagement announcement.

MemDayCamping (17)
Of course there were sticky marshmallows involved
if there was a fire. It was camping after all.

MemDayCamping (16)
A few hours after this, I would pack up Kennedy
and sneak home to sleep in my nice bed.
Maybe next time I’ll do the real camping thing.
(just give me a little more notice)

MemDayCamping (18)
Monday morning the Mama of the gang
babied them all with a big pot of creamed eggs and toast.
I was happy to be the official “toaster of bread”
while they all gobbled up the eggs.

MemDayCamping (12)
He managed to do a little fishing of his own,
after all the camping gear and kid’s rod and reels were taken care of.
It’s his birthday today, and we are so very thankful for him.
I think the kids were more excited then he was.

MemDayCamping (19)
Off to see if anything will bite, one last time.

And what a good weekend it was.
Family times are the best.
Here’s to more just like it!

~~~

*Even with all my many trips home,I always forgot my camera
so this is a cell phone photo post.

Summer Begins

School is out.
Let the summer begin.
No more rigid schedule.
No more early bedtimes.
Eat what you want, do want you want,
read and sleep the summer away,
with a weekly trip to the pool, zoo,
or somewhere fun thrown in.
{think my girls}
Their Mother has a surprise for them!
Reagan silver dollar
Reagan managed to get a silver dollar for perfect attendance.
She was quite happy!

~~~
As for summer…

tree n frog (1)
Reagan has the air of a child released
when she gets to spend the day at home
with her imagination.

Before I knew what was happening,
she had a board up in the tree wedged between
2 branches and a climbing rope with knots tied in it.

tree n frog (2)
They spent the entire morning out there.

tree n frog (3)
They called me out one time to see this.
He had managed to climb up,
but was less than comfortable up there. :)
The girls helped him back down and he was
content to stay on the ground after that.

tree n frog (4)
He found a friend and played with him for awhile.
He’s teaching Kennedy to like them too.

~~~

5-14
We planted a few flowers.
Between me and the dog, they have little chance of survival.
I did not inherit Mother’s goodness with flowers.

~~~
Little One speaks.
And quiet a lot the last while.

While walking through Walmart the other day.
“It sinks in here. I sink it’s a sunk.”

Church time and her do not mesh so well right now,
improving slightly, but still not great yet.
She is unaccustomed to going out for reasons
other than disciplinary measures.
Well, the other day she had to pee during church
so we whisked her out and she went.
Back in we came and had just sat down in the pew
and she says loudly,
“Dat was fun …. I have to poop!”
Um no, this Mom does not fall for that trap.

Little One dog

A stray cat wandered in the lane.
Mr D came to tell me about it and says,
“I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl!”
She was listening and says,
“It’s not a boy or a girl. It’s a kitty!”

She’s not just talking,
she’s been up to a lot of other things too.

K marker legs
Madison brought her around last night looking like this.
She was fairly unrepentant.
She shook her fingers and said,
“Daddy say naughty, naughty, naughty!”
Right on!

It was a dry erase marker,
which came off the skin pretty well,
now I need to go see if it comes off clothes.

~~~
We rifled through the girls’ room yesterday.
One side stays fairly clean and organized.
One side does not. not. not.
We cleaned out drawers that have clothes
and other items pouring out.
It looks a lot better, to say the least.
One was tossing clothes to the Goodwill pile,
and when I looked around, to my horror,
the other one was snatching them up
and stuffing them into her clean drawers.
Sigh.

~~~

Food for thought:

5-12

I teach the youth girls Sunday school class.
The lesson was on Phil. 2 and we were talking about
esteeming others higher than yourself.
In our study books it talked about the value we give someone.

Quoting them:

Value is a choice we make to esteem something at a certain level. The rock gold comes from could be just as insignificant as any other pretty rock if it were not valued.

The value we place on others is a choice. We can choose to see ourselves as gold and others as common rocks or we can choose to attribute greater value to them. Once the choice of value is made, actions will follow to prove it.

What value do I put on other people?
Am I thinking of them as gold or common rocks?
Treat others as gold today,
you have no idea what they are facing.