Friday, March 25, 2011

Moments of Consciousness

 It's All In Perspective...
I haven't been talkin' much lately. There's been a whole lotta stuff going on this Spring and I'm just starting with a baby step to update things.
I thought I'd start with the two littlest littles and move on up to the big people. (Yes, Julianne - you're almost one of us big people. This a milestone and while I know you'll relish in it, it's bittersweet for me. Come June, I will have a teenager in the house!) (Yikes!)
In all honesty, it's crazy - it wasn't so long ago I looked at our big, big world through my small, childlike perspective and saw everything so monstrously big (and somewhat scary!) Now I look at my children through my scratched, somewhat jaded parent glasses and see my babies as small, needful creatures that are growing fast like the aggressive weeds that sprout up around the pole of the stop sign in the corner of our yard. Whole different perspective, those eyes. Totally.

Un-wasted Time

We went out to Lakeway the other day - Kevin went to make a repair for Grandpa, so we all piled in the car and bombarded the quiet community.

Grandpa likes us to come in through the garage, where he keeps his walkin' hat.

The cool thing about Grandpa is that he's a man who truly likes children. And children like him. I know mustering excitement over Star Wars when you're ninety-four is probably quite a daunting task, but he does it with such class and style. Man, our kids are lucky! Man, I am lucky!

Baby G patiently (sorta) waits the return of her big bubba (also known as play toy #2.)
"Oh, thank heaven you're back, Bubba! I thought you had forgotten all about me! Now come inside, wash your hands, and let's play choo-choo-trains in Great-Grandpa's carpet room!" (And by 'choo-choo-trains' I mean that you'll be the train and I'll be the conductor! I bet you're glad you had a light breakfast!)

Even choo-choo-trains need hugs!

Fortunately (for Bubba), the big carpet room has a television with PBS coming in loud and clear.

Great-Grandpa came in and suggested that it might be lunch time! Whoo-hoo! Lunch always sounds good to these kids!

These Boots Were Made For W---hat?!?!

So, we're fortunate that we've got some pretty sweet toys laying around from siblings, friends, and birthday/Christmases. And one would think that a kid would go nuts - a pink kitchen for heaven's sake!

But the real gem - the sacred toy treasured in this house is actually no toy at all. (And it's outside!)

We're talking about the sandy dirt pile in the backyard and pair of hand-me-down boots that were once Julianne's and now belong to Hunter (or do they?)

And when it's time to come in, Miss Priss wants to bring her precious dirt-filled boot along with her.
So if you should happen to come for a visit and notice that my floors don't sparkle like some super-mom's you might know...
just remember the one nugget of wisdom these kids have taught us over the years: 
"We don't need no stinkin' toys!"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Bestest Coffee Cake I Ever Did Eat...

Back when Kevin was going through R.C.I.A. one of our favorite things about Wednesday night class was the spread. It was a beaut! But one thing stood out especially and that was this fantabulous coffee cake made by a lovely woman named Jennifer Zurovek.
Along with delectable, this coffee cake was uber-moist on the inside and there was NEVER a mere crumb leftover. Most of the R.C.I.A. folks entered the building salivating at the thought of getting a slice of Jennifer's cake! 
Now I know some people hoard their recipes, losing sight of the truth and beauty within tattered index card that lives inside of their recipe box... the beauty of living on - being able to sit at a table of future generations even when you are long gone.  The one and only Billy Joel sings:

"Someday your child will cry and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me.

Someday we'll all be gone 
But lullabies go on and on
They never die that's how you and I will be."

I think lullabies and recipes go hand in hand. 

So, because Jennifer Zurovek shared with me...

I bring you - The Zurovek Coffee Cake (though she just called it coffee cake!)

  • 1/2 c oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 small (8 oz. container) sour cream
Mix well and add: 

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Butter Golden cake mix
  • 1 small package vanilla instant pudding mix
Stir well with a spoon. 
Spray bundt pan with Baker's Joy or grease and flour the pan manually. 

Pour half of the batter into the pan, then add a layer of: 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c brown sugar (or I call it brown sugah!)
  • cinnamon to taste 
Pour remaining batter over sugar and cinnamon. Spread evenly. 
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes. (Adjust baking time per your oven.)

It is totally worth it to just go ahead and copy/paste this to a word doc, print it out and glue it to an index card and toss it in your recipe box - and go ahead and put the Duncan Hines mix, the instant pudding, and the sour cream on your shopping list. (I gather that eggs, oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon are a staple in your home.) Trust me on this!