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Friday, December 13, 2013

Gingerbread House Traditions

I don't know what year it began, but we have pictures going back to the 1970s. My mom would create a template using a shoebox. She'd then bake a couple boxes of gingerbread mix and whip up batches of chocolate icing and Royal icing. A few days before, we'd shop for the candy and chocolates that would adorn our house, and on the eve of Christmas Eve, we could build our homemade gingerbread house that would serve as the centerpiece for our Christmas Eve brunch with several other families.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hello Old Friend

By now you've probably figured out that I gave up on the idea of blogging once a week through the summer. As the first week of summer flew by and I realized I still hadn't sat down to write out my post, I realized that I wanted to devote as much time as possible to my family. You see, my mom has lung cancer. Actually, it's been two years since she was diagnosed, and for the first year, she fought it with chemo and radiation. She was cancer free but only for a couple of months. When it returned, she, my dad, and her doctor agreed not to fight it but to just focus on pain management. The oncologist predicted 6-12 months. Thankfully, God has had other plans as that prediction was made 14 months ago. What a blessing! It's also a reminder that life is short, and we need to enjoy it as much as possible. I was thoroughly enjoying my blogging, but I was also noticing how the time spent on my blog was taking away from my family time, and I needed to fix that. 

I then decided to put the blog on hold all summer, but I never sat down to share that idea with you. Well, as life took more turns, as it often does, I found myself with an opportunity to return to work on a part-time basis to teach at our community college. Since that is my first passion, I accepted it, which in turn took away what free time I thought I'd have this fall once all four of my kids were at school. 

I've decided that at this stage, I don't have the time to devote to blogging as I previously did. I may return since we never know what the future holds, but for now, I hope you'll understand my decision.    

Friday, June 7, 2013

End of the School Year Nostalgia

I always feel an overwhelming sense of nostalgia on the last day of school, so I probably shouldn't even attempt to write a blog post today, but I want to. As a mother, I'm torn between wanting my children to stay young and innocent forever and watching them grow into amazing adults. Do you feel this way too? While hubby says it is our job to raise them and send them out into the world as independent adults, I would prefer slowing down that job. I've been blessed with four wonderful children, and while none of them is perfect, they are certainly entertaining. 

I'm taking all three of my boys lunch today as it's their last time as a second, third, and sixth grader. While none of those are milestone years for our schools, every year feels like a milestone in my heart. I remember when my oldest was in second grade and thinking how enormous those fourth and fifth graders looked at school, and way too soon my boys have become those "enormous" school kids. 

This summer, in an effort to devote as much time to my children as possible, I will only be posting once a week. I'm sure you'll understand. After all, our kids are only young once.

I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties here.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


The first time I had one of these cookies was in our high school cafeteria. One of my friends convinced me to buy one while we were in the salad bar line. Since there were no chocolate chip cookies available, I let her talk me into it. After all, a cookie without chocolate is usually not worth the calories in my opinion. However, I loved it. She told me they were called snickerdoodles.
snickerdoodle recipe
My mom had never baked snickerdoodles, so aside from the occasional salad bar treat, I didn't eat these cookies. When I went off to college, I forgot about them, relying on the standard chocolate chip cookie to fill my sweet tooth's cravings. Then I met my future hubby, and his family had a snickerdoodle recipe. I knew I was marrying into an amazing family! If you've never tried this cookie or have yet to attempt to bake some of your own, you must try this recipe. These cookies are moist and chewy on the inside with a crisp and flavorful outside. You will love them!


1 cup Crisco
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix the sugar and eggs in a beater. Then add the Crisco. 
2. In another bowl, stir together the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt. Once mixed, add to the sugar mixture, stirring on low for a minute and then on medium once all ingredients are blended. 
3. In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. 
4. Roll cookie dough into 1" balls and coat with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Lay on cookie sheet. 
5. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, though time may vary.

If you discover you are out of cream of tarter, you can substitute 6 tsp vinegar or lemon juice. We've done that a couple times, and we couldn't taste a difference. 

Aren't these cookies just calling your name? 

snickerdoodle recipe
I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties here.  

Friday, May 31, 2013

Making Signs by Printing onto Wood

As I was rummaging through my very unorganized bin of craft supplies in search of marbles for my middle son's latest school project, I came across some wooden oval plaques my BFF gave me. Her mother had given them to her, but she wasn't sure what to do with them, and at the time, neither was I. However, not too long ago, I discovered this lovely post on printing onto wood. I loved the idea for an entirely different, much bigger project, but I knew I needed to test out the process on something smaller. This wooden oval was perfect. Now that I knew I wanted to print something onto these wooden oval plaques, I needed to decide exactly what to print.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chocolate Banana Cake

I have three cake recipes that are my favorite to bake and eat: chocolate mint cake, triple chocolate bunt cake, and this one. Do you see a common theme here? Yes, my name is Bonny, and I am a chocoholic. My poor hubby loves fruit desserts, but he only gets those on special occasions like his birthday and Father's Day. 

I found this particular recipe while rummaging through my parents' recipe cards years ago when I was trying to build up a recipe stash of my own. The first time I made it I was pregnant with my now almost-12-year-old son. We were hosting one of our first dinner clubs back when dinner club involved trying out new recipes. That was before children, obviously. The meals we now serve are much less impressive, but with 14 children running around, we are just happy we don't forget to feed anyone. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Stories from the Golden Age Book and Audio Review

One of my favorite times of the day is bedtime. No, it's not because I'm excited about getting some kid-free time though I will admit to loving how quiet our house is after all four kids are finally asleep. I love bedtime because I get to spend close to an hour reading with my four children. I always start with our precious two-year-old and lovingly read library books about princesses or her current favorite character Fancy Nancy.  Then I move on to our two middle sons' room. I used to read to them separately, but now that they are 8 and 9 years old, they enjoy the same books.

After they've showered and finally brushed their teeth after only two or three reminders (why don't boys remember to brush their teeth?), they climb in their twin beds as I either sit on the floor between them or squeeze in with one of them holding whatever chapter book we are in the middle of at the moment. Meanwhile, our two kittens play frantically under one of the beds, batting at each other between the dust ruffle. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Our Honor Board

You may recall the parenting book I reviewed back in March, Say Goodbye to Whining,Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids. What I enjoyed most about this book was its focus on honor. Since reading it, we've worked as a family to show honor to each other. I can't say we are there all the time, and we continue to make plenty of mistakes, so I was trying to think of a way to help encourage my children to encourage, praise, and appreciate one another. I remembered a MOPS craft project I once saw on pinterest. Unfortunately, I didn't pin it because I didn't need to go back to it for instructions. Now I realize I need to just pin everything. It's not that I needed the instructions, but I would have liked to give credit to the blogger who inspired this idea.
Our Honor Board to show appreciation, encouragement, and praise
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