Tag Archives: Granddaughters

Family Time

Fanno Creek Trail, Beaverton, Oregon

We canceled the Mother’s Day trip to see my daughter’s family because the kids caught some non-Covid virus from daycare. The entire family was not feeling well.

 I rescheduled our trip for Memorial Day weekend. It is also my daughter’s and her hubby’s anniversary. Whenever we visit them, I offer to watch the kids so they can go on dates. Since this last weekend was their anniversary, they went on a two-day trip to the beach.

Mercy is a master planner. She made a comprehensive list of suggestions from breakfast to bedtime for us to go by. Even though I’ve been watching the kids for four and a half years, it helps to have her suggestions to fall back on.

Autumn has no problem with mommy and daddy going on dates or a short getaway. Nora is attached to Mercy. She was not happy to see mommy walking out of the door after breakfast on Saturday. Fortunately, I had a special treat for the girls to distract them, at least to calm down Nora.

It turned out that both Saturday and Sunday went smoothly. The girls painted the garden stones, read, and played together, but did something separately with grandpa and grandma. Grandpa is Nora’s favorite. Grandma is Autumn’s favorite. It is just perfect. It was easier for us to handle while they got our individual attention.

Autumn painted the butterfly and the sun, and Nora painted the ladybug

It was raining most of the day on Saturday and Sunday. Whenever the sun peeked out a little, we headed out to the school playground right away. One neighbor has some goats. Nora loves to feed the goats. The kids rode their bikes to the playground on Saturday and just walked there on Sunday.

There was something I tried to do this time around. I asked Lynton to read bedtime stories to Nora and put her to bed. Amazingly, it turned out to be a success. Yay!

It worked out perfectly because Autumn wanted me to read her many books. I could just relax to spend time with Autumn without worrying about Nora.

During the two-day trip, Mercy and Will went wine tasting, hiking, and strolling on the beach. They came home after a late-night movie on Sunday. I was happy that they had a wonderful time.

Monday was the Memorial Day holiday. We went on a family walk together. The girls rode their bikes, and Will rode his skateboard to keep up with the kids.

Family Walk on Fanno Creek Trail

By the way, Lynton and I did the cooking for all the meals from Thursday to Tuesday. We tried to cook different main dishes, such as salmon, veggie & sausage casserole, pizza, and tofu. Lynton cooked mashed potatoes a couple of evenings. I cooked the same mixed vegetables. It turned out perfectly because we could eat what we normally eat at home. Mercy and Will loved to have some days off without doing cooking.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Birthdays

This week, the theme for Lens-Artist Photo Challenge from John Steiner is Birthdays. I don’t have fancy birthday celebrations. But I love going to birthday parties, especially my grandchildren’s birthdays. My husband and I just returned from a trip to my younger granddaughter, Nora’s birthday. She turned two.

In the previous years, my daughter had outdoor birthday parties for the girls. When Autumn turned one, we had a party at the park. It started raining toward the end. Many friends helped to pack up things. Last year, when Nora turned one, we had an outdoor party. It was raining before and after the party.

I thought it was a good idea when I found out Nora’s birthday party was indoors. The mask mandate was just lifted. Many people came without masks. A few people were still wearing masks. The outfit has a nice setup of various activities and playrooms. Grown-ups had a wonderful time visiting with each other.

My daughter brought cheese and crackers, fruits, and cupcakes and bought Starbucks coffee. She made the raspberry-filled cupcakes. The staff helped to do the decoration and clean up afterward. It was a lot easier than setting up the outdoor party.

Autumn helped Nora open the birthday gifts

We had a wonderful time with the kids. We went to the nearby school playgrounds twice, but mostly we played with the kids and read with them at home. This is also the time for Mercy and Will to take a break. They had date nights while we fed the kids, bathed them, and put them to bed. Autumn loved to have me read to her at bedtime because she could ask me to read many books. Nora is attached to my daughter and prefers mommy put her to bed. We somehow managed to do the job.

Going to the playgrounds

Playing, playing, playing

Reading, reading, reading

I booked the flights to spend Mother’s Day with my daughter and see the grandkids again. In fact, I also booked the flights in September for Autumn’s birthday. The birthday after that is Mercy’s birthday, the day after Christmas. I enjoy going to these birthdays.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Birthdays

Happy birthday, John!

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LAPC #180 Favorite Images of 2021

The theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #180 is Favorite Images of 2021

The year 2021 was a roller coaster. There were many excitements because we could resume doing things after being restricted for a year or longer. Those moments seemed serene yet felt like wanting to shout for joy. Those were my favorite images of 2021.

My younger granddaughter was born on March 22, 2020. California reinforced the restriction on March 14. I canceled my flight at the last minute to be with my daughter for her childbirth. By March 2021, the restriction of traveling eased a little. We wanted to be there for Nora’s first birthday. I booked the flight with premium seats so that we didn’t have to pass by many passengers. We were so thrilled to see Nora for the first time.

We spent Mother’s Day with my daughter every year except the year 2020. In 2021, we were with my daughter for Mother’s Day and had a wonderful time having three generations of girls together.

Three generations of ladies

The summer of 2021 was my first-time raising Monarch butterflies and there were some casualties, but 20 butterflies made it to adulthood.

This Monarch struggled to open the wings all the way, but it finally made it to leave the cage.

I booked a trip to Banff, Canada in August for our anniversary, but the border was closed. I canceled the trip, and we went to Santa Barbara instead. It was the first long trip since Covid.

Santa Barbara Harbor

We also wanted to take day trips to the beaches, but many beaches were closed during the pandemic. We eventually made a trip to Laguna Beach in September.

Laguna Beach with high tide

We missed Autumn’s 3rd birthday in 2020 but we were excited to go to Autumn’s 4th birthday party in September last year.

Happy Birthday, Autumn!

Last but not the least, we had a white Christmas with my daughter’s family and had fun watching the grandkids playing in the snow and making a snowperson in the backyard. Autumn helped to put the pebbles on to make the eyes and buttons and put the carrot on for the nose. Nora gave the snowperson a big hug.

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LAPC #180 Favorite Images of 2021

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the images!

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Virtual Cookie Exchange – Hosted by Staci Troilo

Staci Troilo invited us to have a Virtual Cookie Exchange and share our recipes on Thursday, December 16, 2021. My recipe, along with many recipes from the friends in this blogging community will be there. Please be sure to visit her tomorrow when she shares all the goodies with you.

Staci Troilo: First Cookie Exchange

Virtual Cookie (Recipe) Exchange

My husband used to have a sweet tooth. I don’t bake cookies for him anymore because he is watching out for the sugar intake. 

During the last two visits to my daughter’s family, I made cookies for the grandkids. I made chocolate chip cookies with M&Ms on top. Autumn doesn’t have those cookies regularly. She doesn’t do many things regularly such as watching two movies in a row, only when grandma is there (I tried so hard not to be a grandma who spoils the grandkids)!

Hubby and I will be visiting the grandkids for Christmas. I wanted to make some cookies for them. I wanted to make some chewy cookies, so they’ll stay soft until we get there. These are oat, fruit, and nut cookies.

I did a variation on the ingredients. Let me talk a little about the ingredients first.

Vegetable Shortening – I used vegetable shortening instead of butter. Butter contains milk solids, fat, and water. Butter can cause steaming while baking which can dry out the cookies. Vegetable shortening is made up entirely of fat that melts at a higher temperature which gives the cookie batter more time to rise.

Egg yolks – I double the egg yolks and omit the white of each egg which tends to dry out when baking.

Brown sugar – I used all brown sugar with no white sugar. Brown sugar contains more moisture. You can use half white and half brown sugar.

Nuts – I used mostly pecan for nuts because they are softer. 

Temperature – I baked in 325o F instead of 350o F. 

Here are the photos of the baking. The recipe is below.

Oat, Fruit, and Nut Cookies Recipe

Prep: 25 minutes

Bake: 10 – 12 minutes

Stand: 1 minute

Total: 36 – 38 minutes

Servings: 36

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

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Ingredients

½ cup vegetable shortening (or butter)

⅔ cup packed brown sugar (or half brown and half white)

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks (or 2 eggs)

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup dried mixed fruit bits, dried cranberries, raisins: and dried apricots, snipping the large pieces

¾ cup chopped walnuts and pecans

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Directions

Step 1 In a large mixing bowl beat vegetable shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat on medium speed until combined. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined.

Step 2 Sift in flour gradually and beat with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Stir in oats, mixed fruit bits, and nuts.

Step 3 Roll dough by hand into balls and place them 2 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet.

Step 4 Bake in a 325°degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cookies stand on the cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Please visit Staci and enjoy all the yummy Christmas cookies (recipe)!

Animated Christmas Tree PNG Transparent Image | PNG Mart

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Do you bake or buy Christmas cookies? What are your favorite Christmas cookies?

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