Sunday, August 29, 2010

My favorite things: Quisp cereal.


I'm dating myself here, but boy, was I excited to spy a box of one of my favorite childhood cereals in Super Target last week! Quisp is just as good as I remembered, both straight from the box and with milk. The flavor is similar to Cap'n Crunch but not as sweet and with a nifty flying saucer shape.

Available while supplies last at Super Target and on

Recipes Worth Sharing

Sony Blu Ray Player

Skylanders Pirate Set

Skylanders Pirate Set

The Maze Runner

Ott Floor Lamp

Cutting for Stone

Lion King DVD

Downton Abbey Season One DVD

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to school.

Dots on her first day of 7th grade

Vivian missed the first two days of school because she and I were in Wyoming. I took Vivian straight from the airport to her school on Wednesday. She walked happily into her classroom and got right to work on reading with Mrs. Cunningham! Vivian's teachers and others at her school faithfully followed her time in the hospital this summer by visiting, emailing, sending cards, etc. They were thrilled to see Vivian back at school and doing so well!

Vivian practices reading her sight words

I texted Will and asked him to have one of his nice roommates take his picture on his first day of college. Would you believe I didn't hear back from him? This picture of him and Dots after she and Robert visited on Sunday to deliver Will's bedding will have to suffice...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grand escape!

On the plane

Sorry for the delay since my last post.

Vivian has been doing so well that she and I flew to Jackson Hole to visit my parents for several days. On so many levels it was wonderful to get away! Vivian was perfect on the flights there and back. I didn't take a lot of pictures because our visit was very low key, but we had a wonderful time.

Landing in Jackson Hole - the world's most beautiful airport!

Vivian on an evening stroll with my parents with the majestic Grand Tetons as a backdrop

Of course Baby Sarah accompanied Vivian on her walk

Stopping to get a rock out of her shoe (I guess Spot went along for the walk too)

After Biba washed and dried her hair, Vivian commented, "Daddy will love my shiny hair"

Coloring at the dining room table

My mom and I shopped at the Mountain Artists Fair in town. We bought some really cute makeup bags from this darling vendor

I got this wrap in black to wear to an upcoming wedding in Colorado

The amazing view from my parents' front deck

The bear guarding my mom's pretty flowers

Two Vivians out for another evening walk (yes, one of them - not my mom - is wearing her beloved Rudolph nightgown!)

Biba teaches Vivian to blow a huge dandelion

Looking back at my parents' house

My dad's barn

Returning from their stroll

At the airport heading home

Early morning sun on the Tetons

View from our seats on the plane

Friday, August 20, 2010

Our prince turned into a frog.

I saw this bumper sticker on a car when we were dropping off Will at Texas Christian University, home of the Horned Frogs. I thought it was so funny!

Saying good-bye to his sister. Not happy that Mom has already pulled out the camera on her phone!

Arrival at TCU in Fort Worth. They had an impressively organized system for checking in new students, handing out room keys and ID's and assisting with unloading cars

I took this picture of the student center and, lo and behold, I captured Will and Robert returning with his room key and a pass to let us into the driveway by Will's dorm for 15 minutes

The University provided these laundry bins and a lot of upperclass volunteers to assist with moving things from cars to the dorm. Robert, Will and a volunteer got all of Will's things to his room in one trip while I parked the car

Will checking out his new bed (his bedding, that I ordered from The Company Store over a month ago, shipped on the 11th but has not arrived yet - grrr). Will has two nice roommates from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Newport Beach, California

"Ok, Mom, you made my bed and took my picture. You and Dad can go now..."

We met Will's roommate from Tulsa. He was very polite and personable. The roommate from California arrived after we'd left, but Will texted me that he is "really nice"

Posing with mom by his desk. I gave Texas flags for graduation presents last year, thinking boys might like to hang them in their dorm rooms. The roommate brought the nice TV, prompting Will to request that I send his XBox and games with a friend coming to TCU later in the week

One last picture with the 'rents. My phone is on Will's bed because he thought one picture with Dad's phone was sufficient. "He can email it to you, Mom."

Will's freshman dorm at TCU - doesn't it look amazingly calm for move-in day?

I cried on the way home. Can't believe my boy is old enough to go to college...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Family time.

In celebration of Vivian's being back at home and in anticipation of Will's imminent departure for college...

"Family Night" - Robert came home early from work, Will was under orders to stay home for a few hours, and all of us ate dinner on the third floor, watched the Cowboys and played Blokus (Will whipped us!). Even Vivian made a brief appearance. Notice Will holding the door closed while Dots corrals Vivian for a group picture

Back at our favorite Friday night Mexican restaurant (sans Will who could not be convinced that eating dinner with the family two nights in a row was more fun than hanging out with his friends)

Vivian colored on the paper tablecloth and ate a good dinner. The people who own and work at the restaurant had been following Vivian's hospitalization. They were so glad to see her back

Our happy, healthy girl!

Dots and Will at church on Sunday. We took advantage of having a nurse at the house with Vivian to worship together one last time before Will leaves for TCU

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What's for breakfast: Six-week bran muffins.


With Vivian improving every day, life is returning to normal at our house, but we are definitely not quite there yet. (Though factoring in Will's impending departure for college, I fear life as I knew it is in the past.)

Friends have kindly brought us delicious meals throughout our ordeal with Vivian. I can't adequately express what a huge help this has been as I have had neither the appetite nor the energy to decide what to eat much less to gather ingredients and actually cook.

I've been easing back into the kitchen, however, with breakfast foods. My kids love French Toast and pancakes. Vivian, in particular, enjoys muffins.

Yesterday I fixed a batch of Six-week Bran Muffins, which are great because, like the name implies, the batter can be kept in the refrigerator and baked when desired. The muffins smell fabulous when they're cooking and are hard to resist straight out of the oven. They are great for crowds or a small group as you can prepare as many as you'd like (if I am baking fewer than a full tin of muffins, I place an ice cube in the unused cups to prevent them from scorching).


Six-week Bran Muffins

1 c. All-Bran cereal
1 c. boiling water
½ c. butter, melted
1½ c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. buttermilk
2½ c. flour (sometimes I mix whole-wheat and all-purpose flour)
2 c. Bran Flakes cereal
2½ t. baking soda
1 t. salt

Pour hot water over All-Bran and let stand. Mix sugar and butter well. Beat in eggs and buttermilk. Add hot bran mixture, stirring well. Sift together flour, soda and salt and then stir in Bran Flakes. Combine dry and liquid mixtures. Batter thickens as it stands. Store in refrigerator up to six weeks (I don't think mine has ever lasted longer than a week).

Fill muffin cups three-quarters full. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.

Makes 3 dozen muffins.

I store the batter in a pitcher, although it cannot be poured once it thickens

Yesterday I baked the muffins in my heart-shaped muffin pan, but I didn't fill the cups full enough. This morning I baked them in my regular muffin tin