Pumpkin Cookies

I was really shocked when this recipe was a keeper. Don’t ask why I made them when I didn’t expect to like them. I don’t have an answer for that.


Cookie Ingredients:


1 cup softened shortening {use butter-flavor Crisco}
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 cups of canned pumpkin
4 cups of flour
8 tsp. of baking powder
2 tsp. salt
5 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips


Frosting Ingredients:


8 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar {1 box}
sprinkle of salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

First, preheat the oven to 400. Combine all cookie ingredients {except chocolate chips} in a large bowl and mix until smooth.  Add the bag of chocolate chips and stir in to batter with spoon.  Use a tablespoon to drop batter by the spoonful onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. It keeps the cookies from burning.

Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes.

While the cookies are baking and cooling, get started on the frosting.  Combine the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar 1/2 a cup at a time, and mix until very smooth. Add the vanilla extra and mix.  Don’t ice the cookies until they are completely cool.


Happy Birthday Middle-ist!

Sadie Piper turned four this week. She asked for a Tangled Party. I don’t have a creative bone in my body, but I can re-create with the best of them! Thank God for the internet!

Sadie Piper is a sweet girl. She can be so selfless (sometimes!). She asked for blue icing on the cupcakes she took to school for her birthday so that the boys didn’t have to eat girl cupcakes. And when Beckham asked if he could be on her cake too, she insisted that this happen. Background: when our kids watch movies, they “be” one of the characters. In Tangled, SP is Rapunzel, Becks is Max, the horse. So, Max isn’t one of the main characters, and he’s not one of the options at the cake stores. So I had to improvise! Sades helped, and although it wasn’t the prettiest cake ever, it has some great memories for me!

See that braid? Super good idea, super not worth the work that thing took.


Here’s what that braid looked like 24 hours earlier. I put SP on walking around the chairs to get the yard unwound.


We made lanterns!


Played “Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn”







At FOUR, Sadie Piper

-Still loves all things music and dancing

-Can recognize Taylor Swift 3 notes into the song

-Has a wicked memory, especially with songs

-Is an extremist: she’s either the life of the party or super pouty

-Doesn’t love sleep (but still needs it!). She’s always first up

-Likes dolls, but looooves her Dudley. She changes her outfit to fit every occasion (jammies, church clothes, play clothes, etc.)

Who knew??

We had a weak moment at Price Chopper and spotted chicken fingers in the deli section. They turned out to be the second best chicken fingers we’ve ever had (after Wings N More in Houston). Who knew? They even sell white gravy (there’s no reason to eat chicken fingers if you don’t have white gravy), but we buy a 75 cents pack and make it at home.


Try them, they are pretty cheap too!


Peanut Butter Nutella Ritz Cookies



There’s nothing NOT yummy in these. They don’t have to be dipped in the white chocolate (the original recipe says to coat the whole cracker, that would have been too much), they are still a great treat without it.

1 sleeve Ritz Crackers


1/4 – 1/2 cup peanut butter


1/4 – 1/2 cup Nutella


12 oz almond bark




Spread a dollop of peanut butter on half the Ritz crackers and some Nutella on the remaining half of the Ritz crackers. (Use as little or as much of each that you want) Sandwich the peanut butter and Nutella halves together. Melt the almond bark in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until it’s melted and smooth.  Dip sandwich in bark about halfway. Place on wax paper to cool before serving – about 30 minutes or until the bark is set.


Funny Book

Brian is changing Berkley’s diaper and he farts. Berkley asks,
“You need to change your diaper, right Daddy?”

Laura: SP, try to go potty

Sp: I don’t need to go
Laura: Sadie Piper what does Ephesians 6:1 say?
Sp: “Go Potty” (as she walked into the bathroom)

(for the record, it says “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this pleases the Lord.” Her’s is more of “The Message” translation!)

Beckham sniffed a fragrance ad from a magazine and scrunched up his face, “That’s not good for your brain!!” After some questioning, we figured out that Mrs P had taught them this since they were sniffing markers! He told us not to sniff it anymore, that it “makes your brain stuff go away!”



SP: Mom, this finger is your Jesus finger. (shows me middle finger).
SP: Cause it can reach stuff.
Sweet girl, being a girl, is full of words. Sometimes she gets them confused in her head. As I asked more questions about this, the word she was looking for wasn’t “Jesus”…it was “tall man.” I would looooove to know what goes on in her head sometimes!
Not funny, but pathetic. Beckham on couch in Brian’s office when he had to get picked up from school for being sick.
Driving home from youth group:
SP: I have baby eggs in my tummy.
Laura: I don’t understand.
SP: I have baby eggs in my tummy and when I get married they come out as babies.
That’s actually a really good explanation! Julia taught her about the birds and the bees
Whenever we have needed a new appliance, Brian makes me research it (so thankful for that!!). So when researching dishwashers a few years ago, I read that one of the most underutilized tools people have is the manuals for things. The engineers and makers write these things to tell you how to make it work best and be happiest with it’s performance, and we file them under “don’t remember where I put it” or trash them. Not me anymore. I read them. So now, every time I load the dishwasher with spoons I giggle cause I remember this. They are telling you not to let the spoons “spoon.” It shouldn’t be that funny, but it’s the most entertaining part of loading the dishwasher for me.
Brian explaining to Beckham why he should stop eating once he was full of pancakes.
“Their are no winners in gluttony. [pause] Except Kobayashi.”
Berkley loves her “Butter” book. It’s a little dog that looks like my brother’s. She’s captivated. And quiet. 🙂
Found this in a book from elementary school. I can’t believe I’m this old. Look at them!! Honestly though, we missed the 80s. We are 90s all the way though! Bring on the Doc Martens!
Becks: Mom, will you write “Justin Beaver” on this hand and “Beaver” in the other?
Laura: Do you know who Justin Bieber is?
Becks: No, but David does. I want to write it on my hand to show him.
Laura: Does David have an older sister?
Becks: Yes
So I took it upon myself to introduce Beckham to Justin Bieber, via the station I created on Brian’s Pandora that I’m sure someone is bound to find and make fun of him for!!


Jammie Day In Kindergarten!


As if Mrs. Preston could get any cooler, she had Pajama Day for the kindergarteners!


At his seat and ready to do his journal! This is my favorite part of kindergarten. They write what’s on the board, then draw a picture to go with it. I loooove kindergarten drawings!


Even Mrs. P wore her’s!


A few other fun recipes

I don’t really love pumpkin things, but this is my mom’s pumpkin bread recipe and it’s the best! I think the first ingredient will tip you off as to why!

3 c sugar

1 c vegetable oil

1 can (16 oz) pumpkin

4 eggs

1-3/4 c whole wheat flour

1-3/4 c all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

2/3 c water

Combine sugar, oil, pumpkin and eggs. Beat until fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add to pumpkin mixture, alternatively with the water. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9×5″ loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until test done. Cool in pans on rack for 15 min. Remove and cool completely. Freezes great!

This dip was super easy and super yummers!

Warm Italiano Spread

1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese

1/4 cup  pesto

1 plum tomato, chopped

1/4 cup Finely Shredded Italian Five Cheese Blend

TRISCUIT Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil Crackers


HEAT grill to medium heat. (or heat oven to 350 and bake for 20 min)

PLACE unwrapped cream cheese on 8-inch square sheet of heavy-duty foil; top with pesto, tomatoes and shredded cheese.

PLACE foil on grill; cover with lid. Grill 8 to 10 min. or until shredded cheese is melted and cheese is softened, but still holding its shape.

TRANSFER foil to platter. Serve spread with crackers.




Happy 6th Birthday Beckham!

Took a few of his friends to Build-A-Bear. They were amazing with the kids there! It was a great winter birthday place!






SP had school this day, but Berkley loaded up her Dudley (I’m not sure how she knew to bring him) to party!


I looked over at one point and saw Berkley over at the bear washing station giving her monkey a bath!








At 6 years old Beckham:

– is still our rule-follower, prefers schedule over chaos

– loves all things animals

– is the first to stand up for the underdog

– is starting to learn about “what’s cool” from his classmates (point in case: he picked out a Bakugon cake. What is a Bakugon?? I don’t think he knew either, but he had heard classmates talking about it and was so excited about it!)

– loves to match/be like Dad

– loves dessert!

– will play “family” with the girls, but is always the dog


Blue Bell Pumpkin Pie Pie

 When Brian tried Blue Bell’s new Pumpkin Pie flavor, he decided he could forever give up real pumpkin pie and replace it with this ice cream. I thought maybe I could make the best of both. I cooked a small pie crust in a ramekin. Then I added the ice cream and cool whip and froze it again.

And then I had to make it again the next night too! Guess it was a success!