Friday, May 31, 2013

Cookie Dough Balls

I love cookie dough batter.  I think I like it better than the cookies!  When we hosted a potluck dinner for our friends, my friend Tara brought these.  Oh so good.  I requested the recipe and she gave it to me (very promptly I might add!).  Last Sunday I didn't have any eggs, so it was a great time to make these delicious babies!  Hanna...these are peanut free.....

Thanks Tara!!!
May 26 2013 cookie dough balls

May 26 2013

May 26 2013 (2)

May 26 2013 (3)

We each got four cookie dough balls, plus two of us (I wonder who...) had a couple extra, ha ha.  The recipe yielded at least 32 balls.  You could make more balls using less dough per ball, of course.

Cookie Dough Balls
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 TBLS milk
1 TBLS vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup chocolate chips, mini chips work great to (that is what I used because I actually had some on hand)

Mix all ingredients well then refrigerate until hardened enough to roll into a ball.

Dip half of ball into chocolate and put on wax paper then refrigerate.

Chocolate Dip Coating
2 cups chocolate chips (I used fewer chocolate chips...maybe 3/4 of a cup? You can always melt more...and I had left over melted chocolate which I happily ate)
1 TBLS shortening (I didn't use this much shortening...maybe 1 1/2 tsp?)

Melt in microwave and stir

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Father's & Son's

Every year, most wards host a Father's & Son's campout commemorating the restoration of the priesthood to the prophet Joseph Smith.  Last year we traveled up to Maryland where the Lee and the boys attended the Father's & Son's campout with Jeff and co.  (Well, I am not sure if the Fathers & Sons was in Maryland or Virginia, or West Virginia.) This year they came down here and went with Lee and the boys to our ward's Father's & Son's.  Our whole ward was actually invited to go, but I just wanted Lee and the boys to go.  Jeff dropped off Lois here and we had a girls night.  We had hot fudge sundaes, watched HGTV and two episodes of Granite Flats. Check Granite Flats out here.  I really like this show. Nice and clean, with some good drama. Can't wait for season two!  We didn't take any pictures of our girl's night, but Lee took pictures at the campout.  He even told his cat story.  Come by for a visit and we'll roast marshmallows and Lee will share his cat story.  And maybe if you liked to be scared a little, he'll share his Memphis story.

Oh, before I share pictures from Father's & Son's, here is Cal's last project for school this year.  He had to pick a "famous" person, write down five facts about him and re-create the person.  Can you guess who?
May 22 2013 Cal and Neil Armstrong

Also, one of the first times I used my oven I roasted a chicken.  I should have covered it or something because it made a HUGE mess.  I know, I know, ovens are for cooking and will get messy, but my nice, brand new oven was a mess.  And then I tried to clean it with some cheap oven cleaner and apparently some oven cleaner dripped on an oven handle and dis-colored a small part of it.  I was trying to avoid doing the self-clean and using up a bunch of propane to do so.  It's not even all the way clean and I am going to end up using the self-clean.  Oh well.  I will buy some better oven cleaner sometime, but I don't want to scrub it out again, anytime soon. 
May 20 2013 Oven

Oh...and I made a cake for my friend's son.

May 24 2013

May 24 2013 (2)

Okay...Father's & Son's.  It was very nothin'.  Thus it was free camping! 
May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (3)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (2)

I guess Clark liked the backwards roasting?
May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (4)

See the frost on the windows?  It got down in the 40s.  Brr.....
May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (7)

The bishopric provided breakfast-breakfast burritos, yum!
May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (8)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (9)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (10)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (11)

They went on a hike to Slate Lick Lake.  It was quite the l-o-n-g walk with several kids and no water.  Good thing it wasn't hot out. They all walked two miles to the lake.  Once they got there Lee ran back at got the van to bring them back to camp.  By the time Lee met them they had already walked one mile.
May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (12)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (13)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (14)

Lee said it was a pretty spot.  Looks like it!
May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (18)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (19)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (20)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (21)

May 25 2013 Fathers & Sons Slate Lick Lake (22)

A couple in our ward gave us this gala apple tree.  They were excited that we had purchased our first home and wanted to give us a house warming gift--a tree.  He suggested a fruit tree and this is what we picked.  Thanks Butlers!  And thanks Lee for planting it!
May 25 2013 gala apple tree from the Butlers

After a lazy morning at home, the guys were back.  They had purchased $.49 slurpees and Lee treated to us girls to some too.
May 25 2013 Shanna

A little later we headed to a parade in Shenandoah.
May 25 2013 Shenandoah parade

May 25 2013 Shenandoah parade (2)

It would be fun to have Lee be in it next year--well Elkton Eyecare.  It's free to be in the parade.  We went to the park after the parade, had dinner and visited a little.  Thanks for coming down Heits!  Come back soon!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A little about Clark

For our May temple trip we first went to Reed's last day of soccer.  Cute Blake has been coming up to me and giving me's been great!
May 18 2013 Blake

While I was talking Haley swiped the camera from me.  I had no idea it was gone obviously till I looked in the camera case and saw it was gone.  She took several pictures.  I thought it was cute the other day when Haley told me that she liked taking pictures.  That is true.  Out of all of our kids, I would say that Haley has taken the most pictures!  And I love the top-two-missing-teeth smile.  It will be gone soon as the adult teeth are growing in.
May 18 2013 Haley

May 18 2013 Reed soccer

May 18 2013 Reed

I love how ALL my kids LOVE Blake! 
May 18 2013 Blake Clark

We had a great time at the temple and then hung out at Lois' till that night.  The next day, Clark had a piano recital!  I enjoy going to his recitals.  I am sure he is of a different opinion. 
May 19 2013 Clark piano recital

A fuzzy picture of him after playing his piece...I think....   I am not sure why he brought his music up with him.  Okay, actually I think he brought it up because everyone else brought theirs up.  I think he would have had better concentration without it as he's had the song memorized for awhile.
May 18 2013 Clark piano recital

Clark started piano lesson just shy of a year ago.  He's already completed two levels of piano and is on level 2 now.  He's made great progress!  Though our opinions are different on the enjoyability (if that's a word) of the lessons, I love how he often will go to the piano and play songs outside of required practice time.  He's memorized a handful of them. 
May 18 2013 Kama Miller, Clark Ruth  Elden

Here is his performance. 

For an end of the year project Clark had to do a science experiment of sorts.  He tested different kinds of batteries, comparing their strength.  I got Lee a volt meter for Christmas (I know, I'm so romantic!), and it came in handy with this project!
May 28, 2013 Clark project (3)

Like my paint job and color?
May 28, 2013 Clark project (2)

May 28, 2013 Clark project

It's wonderful seeing my kids learn and progress.  I'm very proud of how far he's come with piano this past year.  And another point to brag about, he received the highest math score in his grade at his elementary school for state testing. Good work Clark!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Field Trip

A couple weeks ago I went on a field trip with Shanna and Haley. During the school year each kindergarten class held a popcorn sale.  The kids helped pop the popcorn, bag it, and sell it. With the money earned they each were able to spend $10 at the Green Valley Book Fair--a local, permanent "book fair" place.   After that we went to the park, ate lunch and played.

May 17 2013 Haley Shanna field trip

May 17 2013 Haley Shanna field trip (2)

Shanna and her AMAZING teacher.  She is great!  I should have taken a picture of Haley and her teacher too.  Maybe I'll squeeze it in soon....the last day of school is the 6th!!!
May 17 2013 Haley Shanna field trip (3)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Young Women's Activity

I have been in my church's Young Women program for a couple of months now.  During the week on Wednesdays, we have activities for the young women.  As a presidency we feel it's important to do a variety of activities: learning a new skill, giving service, focusing on something spiritual, or just having fun.  A couple of weeks ago we did a "service" project.  It was more of an act of love, rather than "service", because we absolutely love the lady we surprised--Linda.  (Okay, I guess that is a definition of service...)  ANYWAY, we went to our friend's house and the young women put together a dinner for Linda and her family and decorated a cake.  Linda's birthday was just a few days away so that made it even more fun.  We walked down to Linda's house and surprised her by singing one of her favorite hymns and happy birthday.  I really enjoyed it and I hope the young women did too.  I love the element of surprise, and she was surprised!
May 15 2013 YW & Linda Harman surprise

May 15 2013 YW & Linda Harman surprise (2)

May 15 2013 YW & Linda Harman surprise (3)

May 15 2013 YW & Linda Harman surprise (4)

May 15 2013 YW & Linda Harman surprise (5)

Last week two of our young women were participating in their high school concert.  I took my kids to the first part of it.  Clark didn't have scouts that night, and I wanted to go, so of course we all went--it was the young women's activity for the evening.  It was fun seeing both of the young women perform together.  I really liked the drumline and the percussion ensemble (I think I am remembering the groups right!).  For the drumline performance, the students would come in one by one and start banging on a chair or a music stand, or something of the like. Then another student would come in, then another.  They did a great job.  It was really fun to listen to and listen.  We thought about going to our local high schools' concert, but it was on a night that didn't work for us. We'll have to try next year.  There are some talented high schoolers here!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mother's Day Weekend

We all had a fun Mother's Day weekend.  Saturday we headed up to the near-by Shenandoah National Park.  We got an annual pass.  It's around $10 to enter the park (which the $10 buys seven days of admittance I believe) and the annual pass is only $30, so we got one.  We actually had been thinking of getting one for a month or so, and finally did it.   The entrance to the park is about 10 minutes from our house and we hope to use the pass several times.

The hike we chose to go on was a bit of a drive just to the trail head.  We went to the Stony Man Overlook.  Boy, it was worth it!  Right as we started the hike we saw a deer.  And pardon the nice smudge on the middle of the lens. 
May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike

May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (2)

May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (3)

May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (4)

At the overlook.  It was very windy. The view was incredible!
May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (6)

Lee took a little movie.  If you want the direct link to the movie, click here.

May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (14)

There was a nice big rock outcropping.  Can't wait to go back!
May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (7)

May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (8)

May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (9)

May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (10)

May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (11)

May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (12)

We could have made this our family photo for the year!  Too bad I wasn't in it, ha ha.
May 11 2013 Stony Man Hike (13)

That night Lee and I headed to Staunton and watched the musical, Fiddler on the Roof.  We enjoyed going and now I really want to watch the movie musical with Topol.  It's on hold at the library, I just need to go and pick it up.  I love the story and the songs from this musical.  It would be really fun to watch it on Broadway one day. Our friend and home teacher offered awhile back to watch my kids some evening.  I took him up on the offer and he watched our kids that night.  Our kids LOVED it.  They have asked a few times since then: "Can Reilly be our babysitter?"  He is a great guy and the kids are excited for when he returns home after his summer job so he can "babysit" again.
May 11 2013 Fiddler on the Roof

Mother's Day was a nice day.  We got some flowers at church, which I gave them to some sisters I visit teach.  I think Lee was allergic to the flowers, because he had an allergic reaction right after that.  After church I opened some gifts from Lee and the kids.  I love, love, love the cards and love notes my kids make me.  So fun.  And the big brown bag below, Haley put toys in there for me. Lee got me some fun snacks and yummy chocolate.  I am very blessed to be a mom. Lee and I are having a great adventure together being parents.  Maybe this is only me, but sometimes I think, how crazy is it that I have FIVE kids.  And Lee and I are RESPONSIBLE for them.  Once in awhile the thought is overwhelmingly scary that we have so much responsibility in their upbringing and such. But all I can do is my best (which I need to do more often) and pray that Heavenly Father will fill in my huge gaps!
May 12 2013 Mothers Day (4)

May 12 2013 Mothers Day (5)

May 12 2013 Mothers Day (7)

May 12 2013 Mothers Day (8)

My cute kids!
May 12 2013 Mothers Day (3)

I hope all you ladies had a great Mother's Day.  I know Lee and I are very grateful for our amazing moms!!!