Archive for the tag “baking”

her heart just wasn’t in it…

“mrs. wilcox did her best with algebra, but her heart just wasn’t in it…”

that’s me these days…i am mrs. wilcox.

my heart is not feelin’ the algebra…

in fact my heart is not “in” a lot of things.

newsflash: my children are driving me nuts. they don’t wanna listen. they don’t wanna do school. they bicker. bicker. bicker. they don’t wanna pray. my house is constantly messy and noisy. i am constantly grading papers and tidying messes.

and it all makes me not wanna be the mama.

it makes me wanna run far. far. away. take a three hour nap. read a pile of good literature and have someone bring me copious amounts of coffee and delicious foods…possibly for days…

“without the suffering Mary, mothers who feel the sting of sorrow over their children would have lacked a model. mothers should not forget the trials and loneliness of this Mother during the public life of her Son, her anguish on Calvary, and those long years after the Ascension in which she waited to join Him in heaven. suffering and anguish will surely come to Catholic mothers because of their sons. let mothers look to and pray to the Mother of Sorrows, the Queen of the Afflicted.”

her heart was in it.

and so every. single. morning. i start my day with: i believe….

it’s like my own little magnificat. my weak little soul’s way of magnifying the Lord…

and then the good things shift into focus: a little stamp collection started by the baby, with some help from sissy. a kitty in the kitchen. a successful fractions lesson with scones.

successful pumpkin spice scones that taste so very sweet and yummy!

that nature walk the other day with the baby and my dad. we looked at trees and leaves. my dad’s eyes were as blue as the fall sky. and the baby’s hair had a golden red glow like mine!

oh, yes. i’ve missed this space. i miss documenting my life.

not for readership sake. but because every life is a story and i want my kids to know what our story was someday….

for better and for worse.

i really aim to keep up more often. it’s been too long.

i think my heart just might be in it again…..

dear july….

before i forget…and you are gone…

i wanted you to know that you have been so good to us.

with your cool mornings.

and your scattered wild sweet peas on the side of the road.

of course we picked a few. for our Sacred Heart Altar.

and of course there was that day at the beach…

filled with sand and seashells. the sun was hiding. and the roar of the ocean almost lulled me to sleep…

except there was so much to see…everyone made a new friend to play in the waves with. and then there were treasures to behold…

and then we tried those scones we heard about here.

they were absolutely deliciously lovely.

i was proud to perfect my hamburger buns recipe for the bread maker. quick. easy. and loved by all.

even the pickiest of eaters.

there is still so much i could i write about…but some things will just have to be our little secret…

and instead i will close with my favorite quotable that i read this month…i hope you will enjoy it too…

“one of the commonest natural experiences of the sense of loss is tiredness: it empties us out….it is useless to reproach a tired heart. and when we are tired out the only way to God is the simplest wordless act of faith. a woman too weary for articulate prayer will find that for her the best of all prayer is the unspoken act of faith in Christ in her children when she knows that  she is setting the table and baking the cake (or scones!!) for the Christ Child, her soul will be at rest.”

thank you, july magnificat for that.

those were soothing words to this weary mama.

happy weekend friends.

hope to see you monday.

with good news of a safe and successful surgery.



the petit fours are a reality.

and they really aren’t difficult.

they are sweet. and oh-so-pretty.

cake recipe here.

yes, i am only showing these two because don’t you know i am decorating them in between loads of laundry?

the loads of laundry that are spilling out of my laundry room into the dining room…

this is temporarily a mad house and in order for me to be even slightly sane i am taking lots of deep breaths and ignoring many. many things.

after a recent good read: i totally agree with the author!

life is too short to fold fitted sheets!

now while i do not normally condone profanity and i don’t agree with everything written…i had more than one aha! moment while reading this book. ( i just taught my daughter to fold fitted sheets not two weeks ago. but that is totally beside the point.) 

but if you have read this book or do so in the future. please share your laughter with me about that completely hilarious thing said about the author’s idol on the very first page. i won’t repeat it. but every time i think about it i laugh so hard my cheeks hurt.

and finally.

what do i want to remember on this almost last evening of june?

 that there have been swallowtails flying madly around my neighborhood. we see them constantly. and it takes so much restraint not to just drop everything and run outside to chase them.

that the littles and i watched toy story 3 today and we liked it. a very sad coming of age theme made me think of the bigger boys.

that middle son is sort of just ho-hum right now. no great. big. plans or dreams. he worries me a bit. he is so sensitive and quiet. lost in being almost thirteen. what a confusing age that can be…

that the littlest boy has his first loose tooth. and it is affecting the way he talks. very animated anyway, you should see the way that thing is forced to wiggle and writhe with every word that comes out of his mouth.

that the biggest boy completed his jr. firefighter program. received a certificate and is now volunteering at the local fire station for 3 hours once a week. 

that i am not feeling summer quite yet. and i guess it’s because we haven’t found our summer rhythm. but maybe we won’t and i need to accept it. and get over it.

that this week is bubbling over with things. busy things. and perhaps that is the reason for my somber mood.

that i am craving quiet. and the only way to achieve such a goal is to learn the gentle art of saying no.

which i have done twice this week for THE first time. and i was scared. but i set my foot down. albeit gently.

and i’ll tell ya: i could get used to it.

it felt good. and right.

and that, friends. is the end of that.


i really over-used the word.


why hello there blogland friends. have you missed me?

i have been trying to keep myself dry. and sane. as we were hit with a really bad storm last week. which kept us pretty much inside for days upon days. which is interesting. to say the least. when 3 out of my 4 children are rambunctious boys.

luckily my girl and i had some much needed girl time with a dear friend and her sweet daughters. she introduced me to this book. we drank tea and sweet milk. there was lots of doll playing and fashion talk. they took pictures and laughed. we did a bit of knitting together and she brought me an apron made by her very own hands out of the prettiest bird fabric as a gift. because she knows how much i love birds. how blessed am i to have found a real life friend. after all. these. years. who loves to sew like i do. (but she’s much better at it than i am!)

i am sort of in an overwhelming homeschooling funk. could be winter blahs. but i am feeling pressure. praying for grace and peace. and playing around with lesson plans and ideas. but i won’t bore you with the details of that.

that dough recipe we discussed last week is here. i did add more flour. and more butter. and then some boxed cornbread mix from trader joes (because i was out of plain cornmeal). that was how the sweetness was achieved and it worked out well. everyone loved them. they were flaky and soft. i even wrapped the dough. stored it for fresh morning corn tortillas and those, too were yummy.

rachel ray, i am not. all this cooking has me tuckered out.

and feeling fat. i think i’ll be taking a “bread” break and plan some low-cal/lower maintenence meals.

my “sourdough” wasn’t sour. i feel like i wasted 6 days of my life “caring” for starter. and it flopped. the freezing cold temperatures we’ve been having could have something to do with it. but who knows.

don’t get me wrong. it was still good bread. it just wasn’t the sour i had hoped for.

well, wishing you all a lovely week.

hope i’ll find something nice to say about the next few days….as i anticipate another storm. 

oh, spring…where are you?

the calm

before the storm.

the weather has been far too pleasant for january. it felt like spring. and now we are expecting rain all next week. *sigh*. i know we need it. i just wish cloudy weather didn’t make me feel so blue.

as if the weather should be a certain way in order to accommodate my needs.

we woke up to a horrible rumbling this morning around 4 am. it was an earthquake. not too bad. but unsettling. i never sleep well after we’ve had one. they still scare me even after all these years.


i am trying out a sourdough starter. i’ve never made sourdough bread before but after tasting a loaf of yummy sourdough flax from trader joe’s last week- and me being the bread hog that i am-i couldn’t get it out of my mind- so now seemed like the perfect time to give it a whirl.

i had to move these bulbs outside because swarms of little bugs kept buzzing around them when they were in the kitchen. and frankly, they were bugging me. no pun intended.

this lavender begged to come home with me the other day. it wanted to live with the violets. i couldn’t say no. so here it is. sitting on my back porch. waiting to be planted.

but i am too cold to do any such thing. and tired. we had family game nite here last night with two of my husbands’ sisters and their families. we played balderdash. ate mexican food and had quite a few laughs.

so i guess now i’ll go snuggle up on the couch and watch this. catch up on my rest and maybe try knitting something.

ps. isn’t playing with picnik fun?

home fires and creating warmth


my husband often calls me during the day to see what we are up to.

i say i am keeping the home fires burning.

creating warmth with the resources we have been given.

and that does include sewing sweet things. forcing bulbs in the kitchen. and making peanut butter and banana sandwiches on WHO bread.

i feel so blessed.

God is so good.

to me. to us. and to you too, i am sure!

as a side note: my washer has been going almost non-stop since saturday. so there is real work being done around here too.

during break time we sat outside and ate lunch on the back porch today. soaking up sun. sweet. warm sunshine. and watching birds stealing chicken feathers from our yard for their nests. i don’t know if you’ve ever seen a little chickadee with a big fluffy feather in its’ beak, but it is rather comical.

so what are you up to? especially those of you who live in the really cold parts of this great big world. i don’t know how you do it. i am a weakling when it comes to truly being cold.


packages tied up with string (cotton yarn).

kitties who love cottage cheese.

morning sunlight. and the way it makes things look so sophisticated and elegant.

the roses in my mother’s sleepy december garden.

my new striped socks. and favorite red shoes.

a rosemary tree and red chrysanthemums.

a little girl who stole my sweater. with cheeks almost the same color as the flowers on it.

peppermint bark.

hope your Christmas is filled with lots of sweet things too, dear friends. may the sweet baby Jesus bless you all during these next few days. and always.

almond butter leaves



because we have all decided that cooking with butter is a wonderful thing and i don’t want to bore you with all the gory details of my sick family i will share with you this bit of baked loveliness we made before things went south. 

almond butter leaves. they were soft. yummy. buttery. and for the second batch we added a teaspoon of pumpkin spice which was really just wonderfully fallish.

i can’t tell you much about doubling this recipe because we made it twice.  some of us are still so enthusiastic about baking that we don’t mind doing things twice. there is actually less fighting about who gets to measure what this way too! but that’s just here of course. your children might get along perfectly lovely whilst baking.

oh, that’s right, i was supposed to be giving you a recipe….

almond butter leaves

1/4 c. butter, softened

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 egg

1/4 t. vanilla

1/4 t. almond extract

3/4 c. flour

1/2 t. baking powder

-pinch of salt

1/4 c. milk

*optional 1/4 c. finely chopped nuts

heat oven to 350. grease and flour pan. (we were super generous when we did this step). in a large bowl combine all ingredients. blend on low-speed 1 minute, scraping bowl often. beat on medium speed 2 minutes. pour batter into prepared pan. bake 20-22 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. cool in pan 5 minutes; turn out onto cooling rack. cool completely. makes 6 leaves.

i’d kindly like to thank and acknowledge the nordic ware  company for their sweet maple leaf muffin pans and this recipe!

these are the kind of leaves i wouldn’t mind scattered all over my yard! they are actually nourishing. (and yes, the dirt and chicken poop could be a minor deterrent.)

love your mother…




so the big boys are home safe. time in the great outdoors really does them good. their sun-kissed faces were a sight for my sore eyes. they hugged me and sheepishly gave me gifts. a new pink tea cup and some blossoming green tea. i love that tea. i love tea cups. but what i love most is that even though they were far, far away, distracted by many interesting boy things. guns. bows and arrows. tomahawks. etc. they both took the time to do something special for their mama. and so it was only right that yesterday we did something special for the birthday of our heavenly mother. littlest boy, who quite often turns up his nose at glittery crafts, was very eager to make something nice for mary. the mystical rose. and he even wrote the letters all by himself. i’d planned taking pictures of the remnants of lemon-cream cheese birthday cake that we made, but it didn’t last long enough. it was awfully yummy. but does anyone else feel like there must be a healthier way to celebrate feast days? we have been feasting way too much….

lemony snippets

or rather, i guess this post could be called: what i do when i should be sleeping. but i thought lemony snippets was much more catchy. it is almost 5am and i have yet to sleep. i can hear the trash man. i wonder how he can even see. it is still dark outside. i wonder how i’ll be feeling in 7 hours, with a house full of little girls, well, not really full, but 6 is a lot, considering it is usually just me and my girl. i should’ve taken something to relax. but there was a cake to be made. lemon. with chocolate/sour cream/cream cheese frosting. and miles of wood floors that needed mopping. and it seemed so much more fun to stay up and make these pom pom daisies and birthday banner. martha stewart would be proud that i copied her daisies so nicely. not happy because i didn’t buy the ones in the store. but proud. my girl said to me, “but how will you make the petals, mom?” and i am so terrible that i almost felt like it was a challenge. so, 12 petals. cut imperfectly. tacky glue and a yellow pom pom for the center. and did you notice that i took the cake out of the oven with a completed pot holder? yes, i finally finished it. i even taught myself how to finish it. i’ve already started another one. it is white cotton. so impractical for the kitchen, i know. but i am dying to edge it with some pretty crochet lace i made. my very own pattern.

this party was supposed to be simple you know. finger foods. veggies. cake and icecream. but for some reason i don’t work well with simple. i waited until the eleventh hour to do everything. it seems that i only work well under immense pressure. i know it is a terrible character flaw. so, do tell me what you all do when you can’t sleep. and don’t tell me you pray. i only can seem to do that if i actually make it to bed and am just laying there (sorry mom). another character flaw, yes. so if you don’t hear from me for 3 days, you’ll know it is because i am sleeping somewhere. but at least i have left you with these yummy lemony snippets.

and btw. that cake came out sinfully yummy too. i won’t tell you how i managed a taste. it totally has to do with yet another character flaw and i am afraid i have revealed far too much for one nite! ok. i really must go. i am now hearing birds chirping………






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