Oreo Cookies

There are few things in life that can fix common problems like a good cookie.
Add a cup of coffee, and it’s even better.

When it’s a kid with the problem,
they are always happy to have a cookie to help the hurt!

When it’s me, with or without a problem,
well, I am just always happy to eat!

Oreo Cookies (1)

My Mom found a recipe for homemade Oreo Cookies
and they have been a hit around here.

We like them tiny, you can eat more that way.
We started scooping them out
and than cutting each scoop in half to make them smaller.
It makes more cookies and they are so cute!

Oreo Cookies (2)

About two or three bites and it’s gone
and you can justify eating another one because they are so small!

Oreo Cookies (3)

Oreo Cookies

2 boxes Devil’s food cake mixes
4 eggs
1 1/2 c Crisco

Mix together.
Bake the cookies for 8 minutes

(time may differ with ovens)

Filling:

8oz Cream cheese – softened
1 stick of butter – softened
2 tsp vanilla
4 c powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese, add butter and mix.
Add vanilla and powder sugar.Β  Mix until creamy.

Place a spoonful on half of the cookies.
Top with the rest of the cookies.
Taste a few while working.

Oreo Cookies (4)

I experimented with different brands of cake mix but this one turns out the best. The cookies are a little flatter with the Betty Crocker brand and work well to put filling between them. When I used another kind, they were more like fat little nuggets.

vanilla cookies

We did try other flavors too.
These are butterpecan, but I wasn’t so fond of them.
My sister tried a yellow cake mix and said they were good.
I guess your options are only limited to all the kinds of cake mixes.

Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

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Livin’ Life

In an effort to avoid mopping my kitchen floor, this post is was started. Procrastination is not my middle name for naught. True to my middle name, I quit working on it a few sentences in, to go do something else. So now, as a reward for finally cleaning my house, I’ll tap this out. It’s a random assortment of nothings so fasten your seat belt.

~~~

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When I was a kid, going to Grandpa’s was a highlight. There were little games stored in all kinds of cabinets, corners and drawers. Marbles was a favorite. I wonder how many hours we spent on the game with cousins, aunts and uncles. We always thought we had the other guy beat until he managed to empty his side in one smooth move and we were left sitting with a whole roll of marbles.

I’m not sure where I found this game, but I taught my kids the old version I learned at Grandma’s house and now I watch them play. The noise level, the amount of yelling and rolling around on the floor tells me that I have some sore loosers too.

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Speaking of sore loosers, she very clearly falls into that category. The blur of motion in the right hand corner would be the brother laughing in excessive celebration!

~~~

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I would like to tell you that we remodeled and this is our new kitchen, but it’s not. We were just wandering around Keim Lumber the other Sat and being quite envious.

After strolling through the kitchens, we were looking at the gi-ro-normous showers that revel the size of our entire bathroom and Mr D comments loudly, “Wow, this one would be big enough for our whole family to shower at the same time.”
Umm, no thanks son, although the shower itself would be nice, I politely decline the invitation to make it a family affair.
Instead of showering together they decided to park a small car in it instead.

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The history buffs discuss a chunk of tree and all the dates in its time.
I am of no help in this conversation.

~~~

life 4-15-16 (2)

Reagan has been perfecting her “cake in a cup” for an afternoon snack. She’s gotten pretty good at it, but don’t ask me for the recipe, I think it changes every time.

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Speaking of food, Madison baked these the other night and I told the kids that the mom always needs to check a corner to make sure it’s fit to eat. Things may have gotten out of hand with the checking.

Marshmallow Crunch Bars

Marshmallow Crunch Bars
Bake a pan of brownies. When there are 2 minutes of baking time left, dump a bag of mini marshmallows on top and return to the oven for the remaining time. While they cool melt 1/3 C butter, 1 C peanut butter and 1.5 cups of chocolate chips together. Add 2 C rice Krispies and pour on top of marshmallows and pull your self control out of your back pocket. You will need it.

~~~

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Kindergarten is still in progress so we are enjoying weekly grocery dates.

~~~

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Early this morning I heard roaring and squealing outside and whipped the door open to find this! I couldn’t believe he pulled this off on his own, thankfully I saw his Dad waving from the shop! She was quite happy with her chariot.

~~~

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I am blessed with many things inherited from my Mother but one things I missed was her green thumb. Oh my lands, there is nothing green about my thumb. In this photo, my friends, is suppose to be a flower bed we started last fall. If you can find it, let me know. Hopefully by tonight it will look different, but I am dreading the process.
Just keepin’ it real folks!

~~~

On a side note, if you aren’t friends with my on Facebook but would like to follow along with the blog there, I have created a page for it. Find it along the right side and click follow.

~~~

Life keeps moving, whether we want it to or not. People keep changing, events keep happening, we keep living one day after the next, but are we appreciating our days? We are blessed to have them, to live life with the ones we love. Do we appreciate it enough? I, of all people, should have learned this lesson, yet here I sit, grappling with life and feeling like I’m stuck in a rut of grouchiness and unappreciation.

life 4-15-16 (1)

These flowers kept speaking to me as I drove in and out of our lane the last few weeks. It was warm, it was cold, it frosted, it snowed, and then warmed up again, yet all the while they kept lifting their heads and blooming. In the morning they would be drooping, heads hanging low, but by afternoon, they were up and smiling again. What about me? Have I let the cold, the snow, the changing seasons of life get me down?
Did I give up or do I lift my head to bloom again even when things are difficult?

Of Miller Camping

There are all kinds of Miller families in this world,
but there is only one of kind of these Millers.
These Millers do life well.

They cook with gusto.
Two girls and six boys in the family
and almost all of them love to cook.
When we get together, there is no end of food.
They inherited this love of cooking from their mom.
Sometimes its comfort food they call “Miller food.”
Sometimes its exotic things from other countries.
At any rate, there is always plenty and it’s always good

This gang can tell stories with the best of them.
Well, some of them can,
the others are generally part of the story being told.
Frequently you will hear one brother say,
“Hey, let’s tell (insert brother’s name) stories!”
Tall tales can be spun in no time at all and well told they will be.
Next year they are told again,Β  only a little better then before.

These Millers are self-proclaimed rednecks.
Old trucks and tractors, 4-wheelers,
dirt bikes, motorcycles and much more.
A ripped up shirt is a fine thing and a bandanna or a bill cap will work
to cover the facial features that rival Duck Dynasty.
There are boats, jet skies, kayaks, canoes or a plane.
How about a Miller-built raft that floats on metal barrels,
run with an outboard motor and even sports a live well.
If it can be built, they will build it,
whether it looks good or not,
they will proclaim it good and be quite proud of it.

These are people who care,
who invite you to be part of the family,
whether you are family or not.
A friendlier group you will not find,
they will pull you in and surround you.
Within minutes, they will be asking who you are related to,
who your parents are and your grandparents, and in no time at all,
they will either be related to you or know someone who is.

There are those who will tease you mercilessly, laughing all the while.
Some can talk like the wind, entertaining for hours.
You have the quiet ones in the background, picking up the slack.
There are the singers who will strum a guitar around the fire,
waiting for someone to sing with them.
Some are game-players, gathered around a picnic table for hours.
There may be laughing and talking over the game,
or a heated competition to win.
There are those who think deeply and bring thought provoking
conversations to the table.
And any one of them is ready and willing to lift a hand,
any time you need one.

This family has fun together and enjoys each other.
They don’t always agree, not by a long shot,
but they do life together quite well.

~~~

Every year for as many years as I’ve been around,
they’ve been gathering to camp for a weekend.
Lately it’s been Labor Day weekend on the farm.
It’s very much looked forward to by young and old alike.
To prove my point on friendliness,
I can’t remember a camping weekend in the last five or more years
that someone hasn’t brought a friend along to camp.

Miller Camping (1)
A few years ago they put in a pond
and it has gotten many, many hours of use since.

Miller Camping (2)

Every year the old red and white tent goes up.
Most years it drips rain on us, but this year was nice and hot.
We gather under it for the best of food and conversations.

Miller Camping (3)

Speaking of food, I mentioned that these guys like to cook.
Usually it isn’t something simple and
this year we had a menu of a wide variety.

Miller Camping (4)

The first night we had food from all the countries we represent.
Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guatemala, and Brazil.

Miller Camping (5)

Sunday morning Grandma and some granddaughters made her specialty,
home-made donuts.
There are none better to be found.

Sunday lunch was Miller Soul food.
Grilled chicken, mashed potatoes and noodles, salad and dessert.

Miller Camping (6)

Sunday evening was seafood, representing our Florida family members.
Sam brought a sword fish along and they grilled it.
It was quite delicious.

Miller Camping (16)
They also had bacon wrapped scallops
and an assortment of other things to go with it.

Monday morning was more comfort food of biscuits and gravy.

Monday afternoon our meal was southern redneck, Sackett style.
The Sacketts are characters in the Louis L’Amour books this gang has all read.
Not that I knew that, I had to ask since I’m not an original of the family!

Miller Camping (8)

Timmy took on the challenge of making root beer using dry ice.
I don’t think the Sackett’s had dry ice in their time,
but this worked and it was declared quite tasty.

Miller Camping (7)

For the main course of the Sackett meal, we had a hog.
It roasted since late Sunday night and
was a mighty fine piece of meat till it was done.

There really is more involved to our weekends then just food,
although that is a big part of it.

Miller Camping (9)

This year was Human Foosball.
Tim built a game and it was in use most of the time.

Miller Camping (10)
If you played with guys, you were likely to have
bumps and bruises of all shapes and sizes.
When the ladies or kids played, it was much calmer,
but just as much enjoyed.
At least I think so, I actually didn’t play
due to not having a desire to be kicked in the shin or hit with a ball.

Miller Camping (11)

Monday there was even a round of tournaments
which brought out the spectators.

Miller Camping (12)
The pond was put to use by the little kids and big ones.
They had tubes, boats, jet skies and the works out there.
You can see a bit of the previously mentioned raft here.

Miller Camping (13)

The little guys were water logged and sun burnt until the weekend was over.

Miller Camping (14)
And a few of them were well covered with mud.

Miller Camping (15)

These Millers are night owls, hanging out until all hours.
There will be good conversations, there is probably food,
and there may even be a Foosball game at 1am.

Now thatΒ  I’ve convinced you that you would rather like
to be part of this Miller clan,
you are welcome next year about this time, down on the farm.
We are always up for a friend or three to join us for some fun.
There will be good food, of that you can be sure.

Β 

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!

Of Cooking With Menus

Dear Menu-Planning-Cooking-Woman,
I have a few questions for you today.

Do you ever have days when it’s 5pm and you still don’t know
what to make for supper? Yes, I say supper.
{No.}
Please tell me how in the world that is possible.
{Plan a menu far in advance}
Far in advance, hmmm, like a month? Wow.
I can’t even plan 1-2 days in advance.

How do you make that menu and stick to it?
{Just write it down and then cook it on the appointed day.}
Alrighty then, sounds easy enough, but that always leads me to this…

I have always had this burning question about your kind of people.
Are you always, really, truly, hungry for the meal
jotted down for Thursday night?

{Absolutely. If that is what’s on the menu, that is what we eat.}
Seriously? If I plan a menu, I never feel like eating tator tot casserole
on the night tator tot casserole is jotted down for.
I want Chicken Alfredo that’s slotted for Fri night
or the pizza scheduled for Sat night.
Anything but tator tot casserole.
Who wants tator tot casserole anyway?

Can you really manage to go grocery shopping
only once a month? (Your husband must be very proud)
{Yes. You just buy everything you need on that trip because the menus are all planned. You should never need anything extra because when you stick to your menu, you always have the correct ingredients.}
Wow. I was in town yesterday and we are already out of butter.

Do tell, how do you manage to get this done all the time?
{Organization. Perfect planning.}
Guess I missed that ingredient on the cooking boat.
If you haven’t figured it out already,
cooking is not my first love,
eating is.

Thank you for your time. I will give this
menu thing a shot and see if it works.
{No problem. Just remember to cook what is on the menu,
never veer to the right or to the left for Alfredo or Pizza
when it’s tator tot time.}

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Now I’m sure somewhere out there is a working woman,
reading this and thinking,
“You my girl, have no idea how nice you have it.
Stay at home mom, nothing to do but take care of a few kids.
How can you not figure out what is for dinner before 5pm?”
Yes, I know, that is precisely my question too.

And I know somewhere out there is a farm wife on Wed afternoon
planning her third meal of the day, 12th meal of the week, thinking,
“You have no clue. Not a clue whatsoever what real cooking is like.
You have no idea what life is like when there are 3 meals a day to make.
You have nothing to complain about when all you have to do
is come up with 1 meal each evening.”

Meekly whispers: I know.

I also realize there are people out there starving.
A mama in Africa would probably tell me I have no business
even asking such questions because at least I have food with which to cook.
I know. I know.

But today, this is my problem.
Or every day this is my problem.
And I can’t quit thinking about it.
And wondering how to fix it.

So now that I have been set in my place and have organization on my brain,
I am off to browse cookbooks, make grocery lists and try to figure out
what is for supper for the next 37 nights in a row.
And after I do all this organizing and whatnot,
I guarantee you I will not be hungry for whatever is on the menu for that one specific night and all my work will be down the drain.
Make it anyway you say, she says, ugh, good diet plan I guess.

Knowing me it will be 5pm tomorrow and I still won’t know what to cook.

Then I’ll call you and we’ll go out to eat.

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Life ‘Round Here

It’s sunny and white out today,
freezing, but at least sunny.
The size of Mt Laundry is daunting.
The dishes are piled high and dirty,
the to-do list is long and endless,
yet here I sit, coffee in hand,
as though I had nothing better to do,
then chat with you.
So chat we will, because that stuff will not run away,
experience has taught me well.

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{Sunrise over the house I grew up in}
Yes, I said sunrise.
My small one would never allow me to sleep in,
especially not at Grandma’s house.

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We made a quick trip to Indiana over the weekend to welcome
the parents back from their trip to Haiti.

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It was a good, full weekend.
The best of times and conversations always happen around the table.
With this gang, the conversation is always stellar.
And loud, did I mention loud?
Occasionally we fuss about the men and their phones,
how they always pull them out to check this or that.
That night they weren’t on their phones,
the conversation was hopping.
It got so loud, the threat was mentioned that we might need to make them
take a minute, pull out their phone and read an update of some kind. πŸ™‚
Good times. Love these people.

~~~~

We have spent lots of days at home the last while.
I am totally fine with that most days.
Dragging kids out on a cold day is just not for me.
Other days all I want is
sunshine and flip flops and a beach!
I will survive.

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“Mom, you won’t believe this.
I just seen a parrot at the bird feeder.
It was a real parrot too.
A for real big parrot.”

You are right son, I don’t believe it.

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Overheard:
“Kennedy, put that back!”
“NO!”
“Kennedy! You can NOT say no to Koda!”

Hmmm, I think he may have heard that from someone else.

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Little feet. Little hands.
Oh, the places they go and the things they do.
You would not believe what they are capable of.

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People tell me I will miss this.
Some days I wonder how.
People say they don’t like to be alone.
Some days that’s all I want.
But I love them, I really do.

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This day, one that I didn’t love was the dog.
Oh, I was so mad at him.
I sent nasty texts to Eric about that dog, I tell you, I was mad.
Dakota went out to play and the dog was crazy wild.
He knocked D over and buried his face in the snow multiple times.
Finally D decided to swing to get away from him.
This was the results. ^^
Samson the huge dog,
knocked him off the swing and Dakota’s boot was stuck.
D was laughing for awhile, then ended up crying.
I ran out to get him loose and since Sam ran over to greet me,
I took the time to take a picture when he went back to lick D’s face.
And so for this reason I advertise a free dog,
(and for many reasons I won’t tell you.)
Come and get him during the night because for some reason,
these kids still love him even when they don’t like him!

~~~~

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On Tuesday night we had Ladies Night Out at church.
We do this occasionally here,
(but not enough in my opinion.)
It’s a fun night for ladies and girls,
always something different planned,
always full of food and fun.

This time we had Game Night.
Everyone brought appetizers and games.
We had lots of good food and fun games to play.
It was simple, but I think everyone had a good time.

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If you don’t do this with your ladies,
plan one, they will like it.
A night out away from the littles,
good chats and laughs with other women,
and who doesn’t like good food!

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The next day you will be back with your littles,
and you will be able to smile at messy faces and hands
because your mind had a break last night
and was refreshed by friends!

~~~
I just noticed it’s too quiet around here.
That means something is happening somewhere.

Those Dishes

Mr D decided to go drive his jeep,
which prompted Reagan to go drive another one and race with him,
which prompted Madison to rip outside with her own battery
and squish into a jeep
and at the end of this very long run on sentence,
they are currently yelling and screaming outside in the lawn.

I, on the other hand,
am doing a stellar job of avoiding
all the dirty dishes sitting here.
Yes, we do have a dishwasher,
and no, there is not a spare spot left empty in it.
It is currently jam full and happily running.
It was a day full of dishes, sadly.

Growing up I washed dishes all the time.
All the time.
Yes Mother, I did, my memory serves me well.

When we lived in the basement,
I remember absolutely dreading that moment
after eating when Mom would start clearing the table.
“Come on Shannon, help me do the dishes.”

Ugh, for a row of 6 sisters I never wished for more.

On days when Mom fed the farmers,
there was an astronomical amount of dishes in my young eyes.
My cousin was usually around and we washed and dried them together.
slowly.

Mom’s comments would be,
“If you hurry, you’ll be done sooner and you can go play!”
That logic didn’t work.
1 dish. 1 dish. ever so slowly.
“Why don’t you race the clock? Be done before 1:30.”
Didn’t work.
On we plodded.

I’m sure by the time we were half way done
and Mom had cleaned everything else up,
she offered to finish so we could go.
Who wouldn’t instead of pushing 2 girls along.

Blessed Beyond 10-6 (1)
(My snitch off my MIL)

I never grew to love doing dishes
and that is the reason I sit here typing,
instead of doing them first.

Madison just walked in.
“I really don’t feel like being out there!”
My reply, “Then do the dishes.”
She made a swift U turn and said,
“I really do feel like being out there.”
I see the lack of love is being passed along.

My girls are spoiled with a dishwasher.
Sometimes I contemplate not using it one night,
just to make them appreciate it,
but I’ve never gone through with it.
What if I would end up having to do them?

All that said, I am thankful.
Thankful I have the dishes and all that goes with them.

When I started this post,
to avoid the dishes,
I had no intention of writing about them.
random.
That’s how we roll around here.
Off to finish my work.

Or maybe not…

Mr D just came in.
“Would like to wash dishes for me?” I asked.
His reply,
“WASH DISHES?
Oh my word, I’ve been waiting to do that all year!
I need soap.
Roll up my sleeve!
Take off my shirt.
I can’t wait!
Oh my word, this is gonna be so much fun.”

Blessed Beyond 10-6 (2)

And this my friends, is why you procrastinate.

Never mind the fact that I’ll probably have to mop later.