Friday, February 14, 2014

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

For the most part, I am a chocolate girl.  Most people would assume that I am a chocolate girl, through and through.  And there is good reason for this assumption.

But, occasionally, I get a craving for something a little different: oatmeal cookies with craisins and white chips.

I have no idea where I first had this combo, but I loved it.

And, stranger still, I have always despised oatmeal raisin cookies.  I carefully case every cookie table to be sure that I am not deceived by some nefarious baker who has put raisins in where she ought to have put chocolate.  Oatmeal chocolate chip: yummy.  Oatmeal raisin: gag.

So why am I okay with craisins in my cookies?  I have no idea.  

But I am.  So there.  Deal.

I do like to chop my craisins small.  It adds an extra, sticky step, but it's worth it.

I have never found an ideal oatmeal cookie recipe, so I decided to go through my cookbooks and find a new one to try.  This time I landed on the cookbook from the 25th anniversary of my elementary through high school alma mater, Beaver County Christian School.   It's a recipe submitted by a dear lady I've known for almost forever.  If it's good enough for her kitchen, it's good enough for mine!

Except that I changed some things to make it fit my palate.  I never can leave well enough alone.

I'll give the recipe below, just in case anyone wants to try it out.  I kept the same basic recipe, but attempted to make it a wee bit healthier and tweaked the fancy bits.

They came out quite yummy, if I do say so myself!  

And, no, my kids don't really like them, and while I do love to share treats with my kids (except good chocolate and maple syrup) I'm okay with having more of these for John and me.

Original recipe submitted by Jacque Stahl
Oatmeal, Molasses Raisin Cookies
My changes are in fuschia.

1 1/2 c. margarine  1 c. butter, 1/2 c. applesauce
1 1/2 c. white sugar  1 c. white sugar, 1/2 cup Splenda
3 eggs
4 Tbsp. molasses
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 c. oatmeal
2 c. raisins  1 c. craisins, 1 c. white chips
1 c. crushed walnuts  Ew!  No way.
Cream together margarine, sugar, eggs and molasses.  Add pudding, flour, soda and oatmeal; mix well.  Add raisins and nuts.
Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350* for 10 to 12 minutes.  This should make a soft and chewy cookie.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Dress

A few people have commented on and wondered about this beautiful dress Evie wore for her baptism.

It is not a family heirloom, although I hope it will be.

When Johanna was born, I really wanted a beautiful christening gown for her baptism.  

Actually, I had begun to think about it when William was born, arguing that even boys wear christening gowns, but John absolutely forbade it, and I think it was for the best.  I've traumatized my boys enough with other things without doing that to them.

So, when I knew I was having a girl, I knew I needed a gorgeous dress for her baptism.  

I found a pattern and materials, and recruited our good friend, Jody, to make it for us.  She did a beautiful job on it.

I don't have any digital pictures of Johanna wearing the gown, but if I can find any prints, I'll try to put one up here later.

So, it's not like generations of our family have worn it, but I hope future generations will wear it.

Well, maybe just the girls.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Evie's Baptism

This was a day we thought might never come -

the day we had Evie baptized, signifying her place as a covenant child.

First, our family was officially received as members (all except John who is a member of the presbytery), then John and I took the vows of baptism, promising to raise Evie "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

John had the privilege of placing the water on her head and baptizing her Evangeline Mary Shaw.

(If this idea of infant baptism seems strange/unbiblical/way-out-there, go read this article for a fairly quick, fairly simple explanation.)

Look at this!  Five covenant children!  I am the least deserving of so much blessing!

I was very happy that my sister and her husband were in town to help us celebrate the day.  Having family here was wonderful.

(I forgot to drag them into one of our pictures, though!  I'm a bad sister!)

I was sorry that neither John's parents nor mine were able to be with us, but health and busy schedules prevented it.  I still felt the blessing of the many parents before us in both of our families who baptized their children and prayed for the Lord to preserve His covenant with their family.  Evie is simply the latest LeMahieu, Van Ess, Copeland, Edgar to recieve the sign and seal of baptism.  

Surely, we had a great cloud of witnesses cheering yesterday.

We were also happy to share this day with our new church family at Calvary OPC.  

I was missing our Mission church family, though, and all the more so as John preached and it felt so familiar.  I was homesick for the folks who loved and encouraged and supported us through all of the ups and downs of the adoption process and were the first church family to love on Miss Evie.  I couldn't help wishing we could have celebrated with all of them, as well.

I'm glad you all can't see me bawling my eyes out right now!

We are truly thankful to the Lord for his endless goodness and mercy and we pray that Evie will know that mercy and goodness all the days of her life.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lost and Found

When we were at the hospital 13 months ago, we decided to splurge and do the fancy photography package they offered at the hospital.

Then, in the chaos of living and then moving, I misplaced the CD with all of these precious photos.

Thankfully, the other day, I came across the CD while looking for something else I had lost!  And I am so thankful to have these images.  

They came in full color, black and white, and sepia.  Clearly, I favor the sepia option.

She was so tiny!

She still is tiny but she's an Amazon now compared to a year ago!

And even more precious to us now.  Which is pretty precious!