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Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

20 Apr

We are having a wonderful, busy Saturday.  We have been doing stuff around the house today and are just waiting on it to warm up a bit more so we can head outside.

Jason is outside already cleaning up from the awful storms we had last night.  I can hear the chainsaw running-we had several limbs down this morning.  We had to drive to Greensboro last night for a birthday party and had one of the scariest experiences of our lives.  It was storming terribly and we suddenly hit a wall of wind and rain.  Jason slowed down to about 5 miles per hour, but could barely keep the truck on the road.  There were tree limbs hitting the windshield and Jason said, “I think we’re in a tornado.  I don’t know what to do.” I told him to just keep going and maybe we would just drive out of it, so that’s what we did.  When we finally did drive out of the worst part of the storm, Jason pulled over on the side of the road.  I said, “Don’t stop now!  We need to get away from whatever it is!”  The whole time I was praying, “God, just be with us right now.”  I looked back at the kids and their eyes were so big! By the time we returned home we didn’t have power, but it turned back on around 2 this morning.  I am so thankful for those men who work on our power lines on rainy, dark nights!

We are having a baby shower at my church tomorrow afternoon and I decided to make a wreath for a decoration and gift for Chloe, the mommy-to-be.  I think it turned out quite nicely.  Make sure you check out our facebook page if you would like to order one!

This will be so cute on the door of our fellowship hall!

This will be so cute on the door of our fellowship hall!

I also made these tasty chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with white chocolate frosting.  The recipe is from my Cake Mix Doctor book and I changed it a little. They are not too sweet so you can eat at least a dozen at a time!

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes.  You are also getting a sneak peek of our new paint colors!

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes. You are also getting a sneak peek of our new paint colors!

Here’s the recipe in case you want to try these for yourself:

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

1 package chocolate cake mix

3 tbs. cocoa powder

1 1/3 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. vegetable oil (I used canola)

3 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tbs. all-purpose flour

Mix all of these ingredients together until well blended.  Pour into the pan of your choice (I used mini cupcake liners in a mini cupcake pan).  Bake at 350 degrees until done (the mini cupcakes take 16 mins).

White Chocolate Frosting

6 oz white chocoate, melted and cooled slightly

8 oz cream cheese at room temp.

4 tbs. (1/2 stick) butter at room temp.

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 c. confectioners sugar

Mix the butter and cream cheese until combined.  Add the melted white chocolate and blend on low for 30 secs.  Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and blend until fluffy, about 1 min more.

These cupcakes are very rich and not too sweet, and would make really great muffins for breakfast if you added some chocolate chips and didn’t add the icing.  That’s my kind of breakfast!

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DIY Bookend

16 Mar

Good morning!  I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful Saturday.  It is going to be a gorgeous day in NC today-the high is 74, so I am in the process of opening all of our windows and letting in some fresh air.  Hopefully we can spend the rest of the day outside!

Every spring Jason and I embark on a renovation project of some area of our yard, and this year we are focusing on the side of our house by the garage.  It is very rocky and shady, so we don’t have any grass or plants on this side of our house and it annoys me every time I walk outside and see it!  Jason uses it to place things that he doesn’t use but thinks he will some day, so it has become an eyesore in my opinion.  Hopefully we can change that this spring and summer.

One of the things that Jason has sitting in this area of our yard is a big stack of bricks.  They were leftover from when we built the foundation of our house, so they have been there for quite awhile!  Charlie and I painted some of the bricks a couple of weeks ago and used them to mark the beginning and end of our strawberry patch, and I have been on the lookout for some other things we could do with the bricks.

Since Jason and I both teach Sunday School, we have a couple of commentaries that are easier to just leave out on our dresser.  I don’t like how they look just standing alone, so I decided to make a bookend using a brick.  It was really simple to do and I love the finished product!

You will need:

1 brick

felt

a glue gun

a cardboard letter (very cheap at Hobby Lobby)

spray paint

I painted my "W" blue to match our bedroom walls.  I decided to leave the brick its natural color.  You could paint both the letter and the brick white and that would be really pretty.

I painted my “W” blue to match our bedroom walls. I decided to leave the brick its natural color. You could paint both the letter and the brick white and that would be really pretty.

This glue gun is one that I found when I moved into my first classroom 12 years ago!  Maybe I should ask for a new one for my birthday!

This glue gun is one that I found when I moved into my first classroom 12 years ago! Maybe I should ask for a new one for my birthday!

Glue some felt onto the bottom of the brick-otherwise it will scratch your furniture.

Glue some felt onto the bottom of the brick-otherwise it will scratch your furniture.

Glue your letter to the brick, and done!

Glue your letter to the brick, and done!

Pretty, isn't it?

Pretty, isn’t it?

I also love my peacock feathers!

I also love my peacock feathers!

I really liked how this turned out.  I have a couple of other places that need a cute bookend, so I think I’ll have to make a trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up some more letters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sure Sign that Spring is Near

12 Mar

One thing I love about my mother is that she always knows from a simple telephone call when I need a few minutes alone.  She is so good about taking the kids for a little while so I can have a breather and I so appreciate that.  That is one pro of living next door to your mom: It’s no big deal for her to say, “Can I stop by and take the kids for a little while?”

While she had the kids for a couple of hours this afternoon, I did one of my favorite things: Washed off the screened-in porch.  You may think that sounds crazy, but it is so therapeutic to me.  Jason got the water hose out of winter storage for me and I went to it.  I just love the sounds of the outdoors and the water dripping, and seeing the dirt being washed away…I don’t know why, exactly, but I love it. When I tell Jason, “I am going to wash off the porch now,” He takes the kids and leaves me to it!

We eat a lot of meals around this table!

We eat a lot of meals around this table!

For me, this is a definite sign that spring is coming.  We use the porch every day during the spring, summer, and fall.  We love to eat breakfast and dinner out there (most days it is too hot for lunch on the porch), and the kids spend a lot of time playing in their water table out there.  I love to sit in one of the comfy wicker chairs and read or look on my Kindle.

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So ready for winter to be over!

So ready for winter to be over!

I am so ready for a summer of long, hot days outside, playing in the water, grilling out with family, staying up late, and washing off the porch!

 

Our Day in Black and White

8 Mar

What a gorgeous day it has been here today!  We have had a great day and I thought I would share it with you through some pics I took today.

 

Maddie and Charlie have to have a cup of juice first thing in the morning.

Maddie and Charlie have to have a cup of juice first thing in the morning.

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Maddie’s new sunglasses.

 

 

Maddie playing Diva first thing in the morning.

Maddie playing Diva first thing in the morning.

 

Charlie loves to get in my and Jason's bed and play on the Kindle or watch cartoons in the morning.

Charlie loves to get in my and Jason’s bed and play on the Kindle or watch cartoons in the morning.

Are those eyes amazing or what?  Pancakes and bananas for breakfast.

Are those eyes amazing or what? Pancakes and bananas for breakfast.

Madster warming up in front of the fire.  I am so glad we can enjoy relaxing mornings around the house!

Madster warming up in front of the fire. I am so glad we can enjoy relaxing mornings around the house!

Ready for storytime!

Ready for storytime!

Charlie discovered Candy Sticks today.  When I was little, they were called Candy Cigarettes and had a red tip on the end. What were people thinking?

Charlie discovered Candy Sticks today. When I was little, they were called Candy Cigarettes and had a red tip on the end. What were people thinking?

Playing in a pile of blankets while I made the bed.

Playing in a pile of blankets while I made the bed.

After spending some time with Mama today, we came home and enjoyed some time outside.  Maddie and I planted some broccoli and carrots while Charlie and Noah played in the sandbox.

After spending some time with Mama today, we came home and enjoyed some time outside. Maddie and I planted some broccoli and carrots while Charlie and Noah played in the sandbox.

I am trying to grow carrots in pots this year.  I'll let you know how they turn out!

I am trying to grow carrots in pots this year. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

We picked some buttercups.  Paired with rosemary, they really brighten up my kitchen.

We picked some buttercups. Paired with rosemary, they really brighten up my kitchen.

Maddie was so happy to be outside!

Maddie was so happy to be outside!

Pillow fight with Noah!

Pillow fight with Noah!

Spaghetti face

Spaghetti face

 

Good day!  I am exhausted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planting with the Crazy Peoples

1 Mar

Am I the only one who is  SO ready for spring?  I decided today to do a little early planting with Charlie and Maddie and enjoy checking out the fruits of our labor for the remainder of this dreary winter.

All we did was take a glass container (I bought this one at Pottery Barn years ago and use it year-round for different decorations), fill it with glass beads, stick some calla lily bulbs down into the beads, and add a little water.  This would be really cute in mason jars or any type of glass vase or pitcher.

Charlie was being silly for the camera so I had to include some pics of his hilarious self.

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Charlie was cracking me up

Charlie was cracking me up

Adding the beads

Adding the beads

A few more...

A few more…

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added.  It isn't too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous!  I hope they're ready in time for Easter...

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added. It isn’t too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous! I hope they’re ready in time for Easter…

This was really fun to do with the kids and I know they’ll be so excited when the flowers start growing.  We’re definitely going to have to talk about planting seeds in people by talking about Jesus (Matt 28:19) and also how seeds grow into big, beautiful things (Matt 13: 30-32).  Springtime is such a wonderful opportunity to teach about God’s love for us and how his love is expressed in nature.

I’ll post some pics of our flowers when they bloom!