July 31, 2008

Those Red Head Girls

When the girls were little, people couldn't tell them apart. I guess they still can't tell them apart. I don't know why that is. They were never called by the right name and that really bothers them. They take it personally and consider it extremely rude. I don't know why. I guess because they have shared everything their entire lives and they don't want to share their name. I gave birth to them and still call them by the wrong name. People think it is only because we are all J (s). That's not it. My mother did the same thing and we had all different kinds of names. People in the neighborhood and at church just called them 'Those Red Head Girls'. Everyone knew who they were. Maybe not their exact name, but trust me they knew. It is hard to miss us when we are all together. We are a crowd, a party, a MOB. It's just fun being together. When we go out to dinner it's like we take over the place. We don't mean to. Did I also say we are well.... kind of loud. Can't help it. We are just having too much fun. We went to San Francisco a while back and went to China Town. What a trip! The girls got so many crazy looks. It was like they thought the Amazon Women were coming to take over. And when they were younger we went to Mexico and of course they go alot of attention there. Apparently it's good luck or something to touch red hair. It was a little freaky at first. But now the girls are use to it. When they were babies, people actually asked me if I dyed their hair. Who dies a newborns hair? There has been a rumor saying that red heads will be extinct soon, but apparently that is not true. In our family there are 8 true redheads and several more that have a red cast to their hair. It has been skipping generations though. I think if we have anything to do with it... red hair is here to stay.

July 28, 2008

Today is a new day....

God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

One of our favoRED things........

Let them (me) eat cake!

The deliciousness that is......."Red Velvet Cake". What words can describe our favoRED cake? Sweet, dark, creamy, delicious, yummy. Is it only our 'fav' because it is red? No! Well, maybe...it's chocolate too! Is it really the cake we love or is it the frosting? Oh, yes we love the frosting too. But it is the combination of a cake that is not too sweet, and a frosting that it deliciously sweet. A cake that is red and lovely and a frosting that is white and creamy. It is everything about it, that makes it so delicious. During the summer months we will celebrate 6 of our 7 birthdays! Leaving only poor JM in the wintertime. But that is what is great about her birthday, she doesn't have to share it with anyone else. Back to the cake... we celebrate a lot of events with this cake. We don't usually bake it ourselves because we have a wonderful bakery that makes the absolute best about 20 miles away. 20 miles you say, that's pretty far to drive for cake, NO IT IS NOT! Please excuse my yelling. I lost control thinking about the cake. I'm sorry. I don't kid around when it comes to cake. We do bake it at home and when we do we use this fab recipe.
Red Velvet Cake~
Vegetable oil for the pans 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease & dust 3 9inch round pans.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, & cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, & vanilla. Using a mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and batter is smooth.

Divide the cake batter evenly in the 3 prepared pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides. Invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely. Frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using a mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, & butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, & mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy. Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days. Yeah like it’s gonna last 3 days!
Enjoy! jt

July 25, 2008

My Little Women

The most important role of my life is... Mother. I love my husband, but as a little girl I didn't dream of being a wife, I dreamt of being a mother. I guess it's because my own mother disliked me so. Oh, I know that she loved me in some way, but most of the time, she flat out hated me. So, I guess I always wanted a child of my own, one that I could completely adore and one that would know without a doubt that I am in love with her. I hope I have accomplished that. Somedays I feel like I have screwed too many things up. I have made stupid mistakes, said the wrong things, made foolish choices. People have often said that I sheltered and over-protected them too much. My life as a child was difficult, I knew about all kinds of horrible things first hand. I vowed my girls would not share that burden. So through it all, right or wrong...I have loved and adored my four babies, my girls, my little women.

Now that they are getting older, I have to step back and let them find their own way. Even when it means that they will get hurt. They have to make their own mistakes so they can be responsible, compassionate people on their own. I have to let them go. I have tried my best to teach my girls right from wrong. To be compassionate. To be loyal and kind. To know right from wrong. To treat all people equally and with respect. But to let them go and to watch them make mistakes is almost too much pain to bear. This is harder than childbirth, more painful than their first shots, more heartrenching than watching them get stiches in their heads (yes, all four have had stiches in their heads, competitive little things arent't they?). And more cruel than knowing that the bully at the playground called them names like 'red-head witch' and made them cry. This is suffering. I am suffering. My girl is suffering, God, please hear this mother's prayers. My girl needs You. The Bible tells us to 'train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it'. (Prov. 22:6) We have done our best to train and teach her, I believe in Your Word and I believe in You. God is not a man that He should lie. (Numb. 23:19) My hope is in You, Lord. My trust is in You.... always and forever. Amen.

July 11, 2008

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words

Half way between D-RANGED and PMS Week!
How appropriate.
(Hodad's, San Diego)