Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cool shades goes swinging!

Today the weather was "warmer" so we went out to the common yard park for a few minutes. Ethan is really starting to like the swings and I think that is thanks in part to his new shades! Ethan is also getting stronger every day so he was more than capable of steadying himself in the swing seat this time which is why there are so many photos!

Thin Mints meets Oreos

Ok, this was the other new recipe we tried out last week. These cookies are SO good that I ended up icing one, and then eating it, icing one, then eating it...and so on and so forth:). You could absolutely mix it up in this recipe if you want a different flavoring for the filling. The original icing recipe this is based off of called for a citrus extract and you could always replace the peppermint with more vanilla for a more traditional flavor combination:). I will experiment soon with a fully homemade cookie but for now the cake mix version is quite yummy and super simple!

Peppermint Hilborneos


2 Devil's Food Cake Mixes
1 C Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, oil and eggs in a mixer and beat until just combined, making sure not to over mix. Place teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove cookies and let cool 5 minutes then place on a baking rake to cool completely.

Peppermint Filling
1 C Shortening
1 T Vanilla
1 T Peppermint extract
4 1/2 C Confectioner's sugar

4 T Milk

Begin beating the shortening and add vanilla and extract while beating, on medium speed, until combined. Reduce the mixer to low speed, then add 1/2 of the sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and blend, then add the remaining sugar, followed by the remaining milk. Increase mixer speed to medium until the filling is smooth and spreadable. Spread 1/2-1 t of icing on one cookie and sandwich with a second cookie. Makes 36 sandwich cookies.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An ode to "da fingas"

(Ok, so "da fingas" is the cute way my nephew said the fingers when he wanted his Uncle Dylan to tickle him so not exactly the same thing.)

I am posting today to commemorate a wonderful milestone in Ethan's development: he has gained the dexterity to consistently suck on his fingers and self-soothe! I know there are many opinions on either side of the finger-sucking/pacifier debate but I am decidely a fan of the fingers for now. He still will take the soothie sometimes when he gets so upset he mostly hits himself rather than getting his hand but those occurences are waning:).

Here are a few cute shots of Ethan and his new best friend:Incidentally, this may be the most adorable outfit ever:).

The fingers working their magic:)!

Encouragement from God's word

Today I was reading LPM's blog and I was really struck by a verse referenced:

"For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy" (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20).

In the last several days, in particular, I have been struck with the awesome responsibility of being like Christ in Ethan's life. I am so thankful for the wisdom of my mother who wisely reminds us that our first mission field, as a mother, is in the home with our children. I know I am wholly inadequate but my God is sufficient. My hope and prayer is that this verse will be true of Ethan. What a blessing that would be!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vegetable Tart Provencal

Ok, I love to cook! My mom was always great about including us in the cooking process so from an early age I've known how to make some Butler family staples to include: Marilyn's chocolate chip cookies, Butler birthday cake (angel food cake with strawberry filling), whipped cream, etc...Thankfully I have also been blessed with a husband that loves food and loves my cooking and is very vocal in his encouragement:)! Unlike other areas of my life, namely all of them;), I am a culinary risk-taker! I mix recipes, create my own, serve new recipes at dinner parties and to my in-laws:). As I try new recipes and find ones that we love I plan on posting them on the blog and maybe you can help me to perfect them. Ok, so I created a few recipes this past week based on some of my cravings and this is one of them:

Vegetable Tart Provencal

This recipe would work well as a rich brunch or lunch food, enjoy!
1 Refrigerated Pizza crust
1/2 C Artichoke Hearts
1/2 C Grape/Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 C Chopped Spinach
3-4 T Goat Cheese, crumbled
4-5 T Olive Oil
1 T Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place your tomatoes, 3-4 T of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, in a plastic bag and shake to coat the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan for 30 minutes to roast. While the tomatoes roast, brush your tart pan with olive oil and dust with flour to prevent the crust from sticking. Roll the pizza dough out onto the tart pan and pat into the pan, making sure to cut off any access dough. Pierce the center of the dough with a fork repeatedly to prevent the crust from puffing in the center. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool. Bake the crust for 7-9 minutes until it appears cooked but still pale. Remove the crust and top it evenly with the artichokes, roasted tomatoes, spinach and goat cheese. Once the tart is topped, bake it for 10-12 minutes or until the goat cheese is slightly toasted and the crust has a golden hue. Wait 5 minutes before removing the tart from your tart and cut with a pizza wheel.

Sleep, glorious sleep!

Ethan is a good sleeper, has been since the day he was born, and for that I am very thankful. He has taken a 4-5 hour nap at night for quite some time now and he usually begins this nap at around 8-9pm which means I still have a lot around the house to accomplish before going to bed and enjoying the long nap. So I usually toss and turn and end up getting maybe 2-3 hours of sleep before waking up for a feeding. Last night, however, Ethan went down at 11pm after a second feeding...and woke me up at 6:15 the next morning?! I slept for 5 1/2 hours before waking up and it was glorious:). I know this may not be our routine yet but I am so thankful. Oh, and he fed and then went right back to sleep after his marathon nap and slept for another 1 1/2 hours!


Ethan has a Jumperoo and this seems to be a toy he actually enjoys! He likes it just long enough for me to get 10 minutes to work on something while he's awake:), God is good!

Mesmerized by the one toy-less area of the jumperoo...priceless!
Bananas are hilarious, momma!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day:)

Ethan and Joel were kind enough to make french toast for me on Valentine's Day:), what great guys! The cute shirt says "puppy love" and Ethan's Avi & Ava gave him this cute dog for Valentine's Day:).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do you think they're related?...

Not only does Ethan love his Aunt Katherine VERY much but he looks an awful lot like her too:)!

The sun is shining!

We had a lovely weekend that was "unseasonably warm" and so we took advantage of it! Ethan was a bit overwhelmed by the brightness, despite our best shading efforts with the too-small hat, to truly enjoy swinging just yet. He now has some sunglasses so hopefully he'll be enjoying it soon enough! This playground is in the common yard on our block so all we have to do is walk out our backyard gate a few steps and playtime awaits! There is also another, bigger, playground one block over and with a path directly linked to this playground so we should have lots of fun!

Katherine came to visit!

(My nephew Jackson calls Katherine KaKa so Ethan made a sign for her at the airport:). Although Katherine has said that Ethan can come up with his own name for her!)

We were thrilled to have my sister Katherine come to visit for a week. This was her first opportunity to meet Ethan and they had a wonderful time together:). Katherine was also kind enough to bring her snazzy camera and took LOTS of pictures of Ethan! While Katherine was here we visited downtown Clarksville, toured Fort Campbell, shopped in Nashville, and just generally enjoyed some quality time of cooking, talking and baking. She also encouraged me to start a new bible study so if anyone is interested in discussing Beth Moore's Esther study, let me know! Ok, now to the good stuff, here are a few pictures from her visit:

Now entering the world of blogging...reluctantly...

Here we go...hopefully I will do a good job of keeping everyone up to date on our family as it grows and changes:)...