All we need is love

All we need is love
All we need is love

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Here is yet another post from this past December that is LONG overdue! Better late than never I guess!

Along with most people I know, I discovered this cool new site called Pinterest that allows you to view thousands of pictures randomly, or by subject and then "pin" them onto your own personal on-line pin boards for yours and others future viewing pleasure. Most pictures carry a link to a site that would enable you to acuire whatever it is that you've pinned. As an example, I stumbled across a picture of one of my favoite cookies from my childhood. I have never been able to locate the original recipe, until I saw a piture of the cookie and clicked on it, which brought me to a site that contained the recipe. And voila! I had my Chocolate Crinkle Cookies once more!

They are soft and sweet and so perfectly textured! The only problem is that they don't hold up very well (in my opinion). They never taste as lovely as they do the hour after you've removed them from the oven. So you are forced to eat them all! If you choose to make them, I suggest you do so when company is coming over or you will feel the guilt that I have felt so many times! :o)

Here is a picture of the ones we made on Christmas Eve, and the recipe is below!
Don't they look DELICIOUS????

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
From All Recipes
Makes about 7 dozen cookies
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls with lightly oiled palms. I used a size 50 cookie scoop to portion the dough, a tablespoon or rounded teaspoon would also work depending on what size you like. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets. [Alternatively, try other ingredients like cinnamon-sugar or sprinkles.]
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Aria wanted to set these yummy cookies out for Santa along with a few glasses of flavored milk to see which one Santa prefered. Turns out Santa likes regular milk! ;o)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time with my boy

For Christmas, Cole recieved a big Lego set- the Millenium Falcon. I wasn't sure that buying it was the best decision since we had already spent enough on him, and I was trying not to go overboard this year. Well, he said he wanted to build it with me- and he did. He waited patiently for me to be available to build with him when I KNEW he was itching to work on that big beauty of a Star Wars ship. I felt so lucky to be sitting with him spending the hours we invested on that project. Itwas totally worth the money, to have that special time with him! I love that boy!
Oh and I must add- that kid is a very skilled builder!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Archway's First Winter Ball

Mid-December of 2011, Aria's Ballroom dancing club threw a Winter Ball to showcase some of the wonderful dances they had learned during first semester. All of the students who had participated in the club, along with their parents and grandparents were invited to attend. The cafteria was transformed into a winter wonderland with lights and snowflakes hanging magically from the ceiling. The young ladies stood off to the side, waiting for the young men to ask them to dance either the Waltz or to Swing. It was so cool to see these kids dance with eachother so well! They seemed soooo grown up!

Our little family accompanied Aria, along with Grandpa Bill and Grandma Judy who Contra dance just about every weekend throughout the year. Aria was asked to dance by a few boys including my closest friend's son, Isaiah. You can see a picture of the couple below. Aria danced with her Daddy, her Grandpa and even did a little Swing with her Grandma Judy! I got a lesson or two as well, from Isaiah- who is a very accomplished little dancer and knows how to lead! LOL!

It was a nice evening for a new experience. Unfortunately Aria is through with Ballroom Dancing for now- so enjoy these pictures of Aria dancing with a boy! They might be the last for a while! :o)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome Baby Ariel

My favorite nurse from work, the RN who trained me in my position, recently had a baby and I had the pleasure of photographing her precious little girl! Ariel Dawn was born in December with the loveliest red hair and the most angelic face. Taking these pictures makes me want to be a baby photographer!!!

This first one is, HANDS DOWN, the best of the bunch, but I included a few more to enjoy. 
This one is by far my favorite! Such a luck to have caught this expression on camera!

I love this one because it shows the beautiful detail of her red hair, her peachy-creamy skin, the little pores in her nose, her gray-blue eyes and her furry body. Precious!

I love the expression on her face. It's too bad the picture turned out blurry-
it might have been the best one!

I took a few pictures of her on a stack of towels in this basket.
 Isn't she so stinkin' cute!?!

Soo precious!!

Here she is in a beautiful carved, redwood bowl (he, he).
I like to call this one, "The Wooden Womb"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to a great babysitter!

Yesterday, our babysitter, Jessica, celebrated her 14th birthday with a sleepover! She has always said that she wanted one of my cakes for her birthday, so this year her mother wanted to surprise her with one. She faked her out by telling her the neighbor was going to make one instead because I was too busy. When I walked in with her cake, she was really shocked! I'm so glad to have helped make her birthday special- she's a great girl and she deserves it!
Jessica- the best babysitter ever!

Aria's adventures in cake

Yesterday I had a cake to make for our babysitter's birthday, so Aria joined me and used up some extra cake to decorate her own little masterpiece! She did a beautiful job! Check it out!

Aria in action

The finished cake- beautiful!

A perfect slice!

The inside of the cake

My crazy girl!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's been a while

Well, I realize it's been a while since my last post. It's s busy time of year and I haven't had much time to do more than what HAS to be done. When I think about this blog and all of the pictures and events that I haven't posted on, I get a little overwhelmed and don't want to even try! So I decided that I won't try to catch up. I'll just start off with what I would like to post about and fill in the details as I go- as time permits!
We had a lovely New Year, although I worked, and we have been full-steam ahead with school since then. Aria had an extra week off of school for "Project Week" which for her new Classical Charter school is a time to work on a big assignment that will be turned in and presented on the last Friday before break is up. Aria's grade was assigned the mountainous task of memorizing and reciting the poem, Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. If you aren't familiar with this one, let me just tell you... most adults couldn't memorize this beast in the 4 days these 9 and 10 year olds were given. It is 13 stanzas in length, and it is chalk full of complex words and concepts that these kids were not familiar with before they embarked on this journey. If you want to see for yourself how amazing these kids did, you can watch  their recitation on YouTube by typing in Archway Veritas 4th Grade- Paul Revere's Ride. It is quite impressive!
Cole got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and is learning how to load books on it to read in the downtime between homework and school (which is not very often). He has had some pretty difficult math exams to study for so we have been investing a lot of time there. I know he looks forward to the weekend when he can relax a bit and do some things he wants to do.
Greg just finished his last pre-requisite final for OT school and did very well! He's so smart and has this impressive ability to memorize countless facts that he learns in Anatomy and Physiology. I am always amazed at how is brain works! It's been fun for both of us to discuss topics in the subject of healthcare and medicine now that he understands so much of it. He should be moving on to OT school this coming August. Keep your fingers crossed!
I have been working and trying to keep this family clean, well fed, organized and happy while squeezing in a project here and there. I just celebrated my 32nd birthday and got to go out on a date with my honey! It's was well overdue! We had a great time! After our date, he presented me with my gift that I am currently tying on now- my first Apple Computer. It's pretty amazing! Thanks love!
Speaking of my love, I better go meet him for our coffee date! More updates to come!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Today we welcomed in the New Year with Sunday dinner at our house! I had to work, so I didn't get to stay for the fun, but most of the family was there- happy and healthy as ever! Here's to a good start to a great year!