Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer fruit cake

¾ cup butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs

1½ tsp. vanilla

1½ cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. salt

1/3 cup milk

1 ½ cups blueberries

2 peaches, pitted, peeled, and diced

1 plum, pitted and diced


2 T. butter, softened

3 T. flour

3 T. brown sugar

¼ tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 pan.

Beat butter and sugar on high for 2 minutes or until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour through milk until blended. Gently fold ½ cup blueberries into batter.

Spread batter into pan and top with remaining fruit.

In a small bowl mix topping ingredients until clumpy, then scatter over fruit.

Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm with a dab of whipped topping and/or ice cream.

Just another quick recipe that I tried out of a magazine...even Nick liked it because the fruit was baked instead of fresh. I think I'll have to try some other fruit combinations with the blueberries next time. Delicious!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mom-tot swim lessons

Waiting for our "turn" to get into the water.

My fearless little girl jumping into the water, going under the water, and splashing me BIG in the process.

Jumping into the water to daddy (who came with us this last day of class) and splashing him too.

Swimming from daddy to mommy (and doing a fantastic job of tucking her face down into the water). In the background is our teacher, Mrs. Cindy and our new friend, Heather, and her daughter, Emmalyn.

Check out her swimming form...kicking and all.



Enjoying some time outside on her trike while it was still cool one morning. Gabrielle LOVES to be outside, and it's always SO hot here, so I have to take advantage of it when it's not too bad.

Letting her "baby" drive.

Mowing the grass...
Daddy is looking forward to the time she can do it for real! :)

Must take a lot of concentration.

Playing with her "doodle"...much cooler inside!

Dinner with new friends

So, we were invited to dinner at some new friends' house that we've met here in Nederland about a week ago. Funny enough, that night when we got to their house, the electricity was off because of the thunderstorm that was blowing through. Luckily the lights came on while they were grilling. After we ate some fantastic food (thanks to Kris and Heather), Gabrielle and Emmalyn played so well together.

Obviously Gabrielle is ready for a "big-girl" bed, huh?
I thought it was SUPER cute that Gabrielle was in her bed, and Emmalyn was playing "mommy" by reading her a book.

Whacha doing?

The Spells broke out their "bounce house" and blew it up for the girls to jump on. Gabrielle LOVED it, and Raylen (daughter of Josh and Jessica--another couple we met that night) joined her. Emmalyn was a little shy and didn't want to join them.

More bouncing fun!


Just like my mommy

Gabrielle is wearing one of the outfits that I wore growing up--can you believe it? Yes, my mom kept quite a few things from my childhood, and I was pleasantly surprised that the elastic in the shorts is still in good shape! :) Check out the shoes...those were mine too--no kidding!

Amanda comes to visit

Amanda "trying out" some of the park equipment.

Having a good time on the swings. Amanda the oldest of my second cousins that grew up near Byron (where I grew up). She just finished her BS, and is headed to med-school in Omaha in the fall. She was house sitting in Houston, so she came to visit us over a weekend...thanks for coming, Amanda!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yummy dessert

I made this dessert for a dinner party we were invited to--it was a hit, so I am adding it to my "favorites", and thought I would share it with anyone interested. It looks like there are a lot of ingredients, but several of them are repeated through the crust, filling, and topping layers. Enjoy!

White Chocolate Berry Dessert

8 oz. white baking chocolate

6 T. butter, softened

2 eggs

½ cup sugar

3 tsp. vanilla

1 cup flour

¼ tsp. salt


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 oz. white baking chocolate, melted and cooled

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla


8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed

4 oz. white baking chocolate, melted and cooled

1 pt. fresh strawberries, diced

In a bowl, melt white chocolate and butter in microwave, stir until smooth and cool. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until smooth. Beat in melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Continue by adding flour and salt. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan and set aside.

In a small bowl beat cream cheese and white chocolate. Beat in the egg, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until combined. Carefully spread over bottom layer and cut through filling with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Just before serving fold whipped topping into white chocolate, add strawberries, and spread over the dessert. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

At Grandma Martin's house

Here's a few pictures from our time with Nick's mom...

Gabrielle in her new rocking chair from Grandma Martin.

With grandma and the flowers in her backyard.


Friday, July 10, 2009

So much fun in Kansas

We had SO much fun on our 12-day trip to Nebraska and are some random shots of more friends we saw on our trip. Thanks to everyone who moved things around in your schedules to make time to see us. We miss you all, especially if we didn't get the chance to see you this time around!

Grayson Anderson and Gabrielle walking from their backyard to their neighborhood pool while Julie and I drive our vehicles (since we both had to leave right after we were done there). Thanks for letting us get some swim-time at your pool, even though it was a little cool outside!

We met for lunch at D'Mario's Pizza in Cheney (some of Nick's favorite pizza EVER) with several people that I taught with there. This is a picture of Melanie Tolar and her two boys Drew and Reece. Mel is the PE teacher at the school, so we got to be really great friends since we switched groups of students to each others' rooms every 25 minutes.

A precious picture of Gabrielle on the LONG drive back to Texas with her Puppy that she got from Grandma Martin.

4th of July at the Manning's

On the evening of the 4th we headed over to the Manning's house in Park City for fireworks and to celebrate Laura's birthday. (Laura is one of Nick's step-sisters from his dad's family). It was an interesting evening, enjoying fireworks, volleyball, and good food.

Laura opening some gifts with her daughter, Karis.

Gabrielle trying on Laura's new Jayhawk flip-flops.

Helping Laura put the taffy candies in her new festive bowls.

Singing "Happy Birthday"!

Gabrielle loved playing in Karis' bedroom...ALL SORTS of things that were so much fun to try (and another girl to play with too)!

Trying out Karis' toy vacuum...looks like she's almost ready to do the real thing, right? :)

Nice shot of me trying to do some fireworks...I was afraid it wasn't going to work right since it was sooooo hard to push. Thanks for capturing that moment, Nick!

Our pop-gun in action!

Some of the Manning's friends who joined us for the fun.

Gabrielle really liked stomping on the pops with her flip-flops (ship-shops)!

Old and dear friends

On Friday (the 3rd of July) we got together with some of our old Bible study friends at the McDaniel's house. Unfortunatley we were too busy talking and catching-up that I didn't get any pictures of the adults, and only a few of the kids playing outside. I can't believe that just a few short years ago (or so it seems), we were all single at "Focus 20". Go figure that God would use such a fantastic place for many of us to meet our spouses, and start families too!

Gabrielle swinging with Lejer and Holden.

Mr. Jonathan hangin' outside.

Gabrielle really enjoyed playing with all the toy "vehicles" outside that Amy has for her daycare. Here she's giving Holden a ride. Who does he looks more like here, Cameron OR Amy? :)

More driving.

Having problems with the steering wheel?

Trying out the trike (with a helmet...guess we need to get one of those at our house soon too).

Lejer and Holden again. Those McDaniel boys and their "funny faces" (more like Cameron OR Amy in this one?).

And, still another toy to "drive".

All lined up for a picture. Guess we need to get some more outdoor toys at our house...someone needs to direct me to some great garage sales down here so I can get some of them used like I know Amy did for her boys.

Hangin' with the Brutons

While in Kansas, we drove up to Burton to visit Nick's half-sister's family, The Brutons. Nick's nephew, Tyler, is going to be a senior in high school this about time flying by! When Nick and I were first dating, I remember going to watch Tyler play a game of flag-football on a Saturday morning.

Playing in cousin-Tyler's room.

Found his Guitar Hero guitars!

And found Tyler's drums too.
Gabrielle had a great time finding "new toys" in his room!

Giving Uncle Terry hugs.

Hugs for Aunt Stacy.

And, hugs for Tyler before we left.

Time at G & G Walker's house

When we got back to Wichita we met up with Grandpa Chuck and Grandma Judy for supper and then some fun-time on their new play equipment in their backyard.

Gabrielle enjoying the swings.

Love the way they're having fun on the swings together!

Trying out the climbing wall--yea!

Grandpa helping Gabrielle down the slide.

Another one of their fun toys.

Bouncing on the trampoline with daddy--
I love the way Gabrielle's hair up in the air in this shot!

Daddy and Gabrielle "bounce".
In the background you can hear everyone (including uncle Joe) talking about food...

Jumping with mommy.

Mommy and Gabrielle "bounce".

More swinging with Grandma Judy.

Playing inside with some toys before we left.

Feeding Grandma Judy something.