A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


My sister sent me an email with a link to some pretty amazing brownies that were brought to her work the other day (and now I have another food blog to check on for recipes!). We had talked on the phone a couple days before, and she assured me they were awesome! I requested that she find me the recipe, and of course, she followed through!

So, I obviously cannot claim any originality in this recipe. I followed it as directed, making my top and bottom layers from scratch, and thoroughly enjoying both the baking process, and the end result! They seem to be floating around on food blogs, so you may have already heard of them, or tried a similar variation.

I really, cannot, because I am who I am, call them by their given name. Therefore, I have dubbed them to be "Stupendous Brownies". Jonah helped me make them when Eli was at school last weekend, so that we could have a special treat waiting for Daddy once he got back home.

I was impressed that the brownie layer stayed SUPER moist, with that hint of doughy-ness that I really like. Honestly, I love brownie dough, cookie dough. I mean, truly, licking the bowl once the creations are in the oven is nearly better to me than enjoying a treat once it is baked through (and I have passed that trait on to Jonah)! I like to bake to enjoy the process, a small tasting, and then enjoy even more giving some away afterwards than eating it myself! = )

This is not intended to become a food blog. But, honestly, into how much of my life does food come into play? A LOT. Feeding the boys, planning meals, shopping for the meals, figuring out how to get more healthful food into the four stomachs in this house, growing strong bodies ... don't we all! And, amidst that, bake a delicious treat or two! So, I couldn't help but share this one ...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Silly Seuss Moment!

Today, all over the country, children could go various places and hear Dr. Seuss stories read to them. We have never actually made it to one of these times in past years ... but Eli is at school this weekend, and I had something that needed to be returned to Target. So, I decided that I would overlap the return with the 9-11am reading time they were having!

So glad that I did!

Little did I know that there would be a goody bag, complete with fruit snacks and a juice box to sip on while listening to The Lorax, Go Dogs Go, and Green Eggs and Ham! Both boys were completely excited - and they love all three of those books, so they sat for a good 20 minutes, enraptured with the tales, and joining several other kiddos and parents for a good "book moment". Never mind that it was in the middle of a Target store.

I knew that once upon a time, Eli used to help run and read at these events ... but had missed some of the fun details. And when Daddy is away on a long weekend, and my little Reubs is fighting some serious allergy junk, this was just the little out-of-the-ordinary excursion that we needed to bring some extra cheer to our day.

And, whether or not we end up seeing the film version of the The Lorax, we are going to enjoy our treats, and some silly moustaches too!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Growing Bellies

And then there were three ...

Three pregnant sisters, that is!

My sister-in-law - due in three weeks; Myself - due in eight weeks; and now my little sister - due in 27 weeks! My parents are getting three grandbabies born within six months of each other! Talk about a growing family ...

Grace and I will keep our pictures going together, but I was so excited to be able to add in Adrienne! God has blessed our family in many ways this year.

I love the contrast here: little to "almost ready to meet her!"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Eggs on the Brain

Perhaps it is a pregnancy thing ... or just my body craving extra protein for some reason, but I am constantly wanting to eat eggs! Boiled, fried, scrambled, whatever works! I do prefer scrambled eggs ... I just really like the fluffiness and warm feeling - especially on colder winter days.

The unfortunate side is that I have high cholesteral (thanks, genes!), so I have to be careful how many egg yolks I consume. So, I often do mostly or all egg whites with my scrambles, and if I eat them boiled, throw out some of the yolks.

Two of my favorite dishes in the last couple weeks have been these:

*A few leftover fajita veggies, tossed in with one whole/two whites scrambled, and then I added in some chopped kale. All warmed and cozy together in a skillet!

Sauteed Spinach (with just a bit of olive oil, minced garlic, salt 'n pepper), four egg whites scrambled and served over that bed of greens - YUM!

I figure that if I can eat lots of greens with my eggs, then all the more better! My sister - now 12 weeks pregnant - has said that she often has eggs every morning too! I'm not a big meat eater at all, so the protein is oh-so-good for me as I keep up my workouts. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get one of my boys to try some with me someday. They currently eye all plates of scrambled eggs with disdain ... = )

Monday, February 13, 2012



Jonah had been asking me if it was springtime ... and I have kept attempting to explain that, no, it is in fact NOT springtime yet. "But Mommy, I thought that we got snow in the wintertime". Theoretically, true! Usually quite true. Just hadn't been yet THIS winter. Yesterday I told him that he might wake up this morning and see some snow. And let me assure you that it was high excitement in our household once he first looked out the window! He didn't waste any time getting Reuben roused to share in the joy of S.N.O.W.

I was rather hoping to find out that the preschool had been cancelled, and therefore classes at the gym, meaning we could all stay home and play all morning! Not so ... so all three boys bundled up and Jonah and Reuben joyfully "helped" shovel the porch and driveway before Eli drove Reuben and I to the gym, and Jonah to preschool. Promises were made of snowmen later on.

And Eli took them out to the backyard before naptime to build a snowman, throw snowballs, and consume lots of cold snow! We couldn't fit sledding in with Eli's schedule ... but they knew no difference!

Our un-conventional Snowman Nose!

Reuben "shoveling" with his plastic rake - and then eating the snow. Ah well!
One HAPPY 4 year old!

Working with Daddy to finish the snowman ...

"Mom, I kinda feel like a marshmallow!"

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What's your favorite?

Several weeks ago, we started asking the boys during evening reading time, or once they were tucked in: "what was your favorite part of the day?" Hoping to get their thoughts together, or if they were cranky about going to bed - make them think of something that made them smile. Just to connect with them!

Not that each night we remembered: and with the crazy schedule, there are some nights we fly into the house at 8:30 and it is a geteveryoneintobedasfastasyoucan moment.

But Reuben has now adopted it: Sometimes my brain wanders as I lay down beside him for a moment after covering him up, or I'm thinking "wow, I could practically doze off right now ..." and then this round, grinning little face turns towards mine and I hear: "Momma, what was your fav-ite part a the day?"

So, I recount a memory for him. He sighes and smiles. And then looks upwards at the wood slabs above him: "Jonah, what was your fav-ite part a the day?" Of course, Jonah recounts nearly every details of his day that was fun - how CAN you pick just one thing??? And then we ask Reuben. Who often lays with his hands behind his head, looking deeply satisfied with his little life as he picks something about his day.

Perhaps .... just perhaps this is sometimes a scheme to put off the inevitable moment of Mommy leaving the room and it truly is time to sleep .... but it's a moment to hear their little thoughts. Not clamorings for a treat, or pleading to be let out of a chore, but a sweet time to recall a gift from the day.

And I love it, each and every night.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


February? Already?

Wow, the end of January - well, maybe ALL of January - seemed to go by pretty fast! I'm counting that as a blessing, seeing as I am now in my last trimester (maybe all if it will go by quickly!), and that we didn't have the cabin fever of January snows. Not that I mind snow. In fact, one or two good snows to get outside and sled it would be nice! But, we've enjoyed 60 degree weather days on and off all month long, and few to start February off with as well! The backyard has never seemed so fun!

We have re-emerged from about 7 straight days of being too sick to go do much at all, and three trips to the doctor! Yay! This week has been getting back into our schedule, and playing again, and working on reading lessons with Jonah and all that good stuff!

I had lots of posts last week running through my head: but never seemed to find the right amount of time to get on the computer, work with pictures, and get them done. Ha! Oh well, that is the life of a mom, right? Reuben has been keeping us smiling with funny sayings he has picked up, so I want to get them all down before they leave my memory: hopefully later this week I can get that done.

But, I wanted to post some smiles! Once everyone was feeling better, I felt like pulling out the camera one evening. Eli found an old hat of his (one that I remember him wearing a lot in college, when we were first interested in each other!), and the boys got a kick out of wearing it. They call it their fishing hat, but it gave me some fun memories to smile about with my hubby. THOSE are good moments to sit down and re-hash and laugh about together!

The boys are hoping that once spring is actually here, they'll be able to trying utilize these hats with their fishing poles!