Archives for February 2011

Buttermilk Syrup with a side of German Pancake!

Just in case you haven’t made Buttermilk Syrup yet–you MUST!  It is so easy and comes out as a divine gooey caramel sauce.  We usually put ours on German Pancakes, but it tastes delectable on just about anything.

Buttermilk Syrup
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine everything, except vanilla, in a large pot (syrup will boil up) and start stirring.  Bring to a boil and keep boiling for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.    Syrup is done when it  turns a light golden brown color.  Remove from heat and add vanilla. That’s it!              

German Pancakes
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss butter into a 9×13 in. baking pan.  Place pan in oven, while it is heating, to melt butter. Combine milk, flour, and eggs in the blender and blend well.  Pour mixture into hot baking dish and cook for about 20 minutes until golden and puffy.  Eat right away! 

For Volcano Pancake variation top with cheddar cheese immediately out of the oven.  Last night, I topped mine with raspberries, syrup, and sour cream that I mixed with a little brown sugar.
This was my first serving of five!

I needed to double my German Pancake recipe for my family of 6.  Just one batch of Buttermilk Syrup makes plenty.  My kids and husband kept stealing extra syrup even after the pancakes were gone!

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Eat something a bit healthier for dinner tonight.

I survived! The Best Birthday Party Ever-Completed!

Oh my…what a day!  I came down with a terrible cold last night and 10 little girls laid seige to my house this morning-it was…memorable.  We really did have fun, but, (WOW!) I’m glad it’s over.  

We did a Crazy Backwards Birthday.  The girls all had to have crazy hair and wear colorful or backwards clothes.

All of the 6- and 7-year-old girls were so cute and sweet, but one of my daughters friends had a laugh that morphed into a sound identical to my 2-year-old’s cry!  Ahhhh!  I kept looking around for injuries, only to find the source of the “cry,” laughing hysterically.  I’m not sure if she was intentionally doing it or not, so I didn’t ask. 

The Biggest Hits of the Party:

  • The girls all wore name tags with their names spelled backwards.  Have you ever spelled your name backwards?   In all my 35 years you would think I would have tried this, at least once.  My name is Eanaj, by the way.  We also had a Nodnol,  Nagaer, Nalyd, and my husband was Tterb.  The amusement of their new names lasted through the entire first hour of the party.  Who knew?
  • The favorite game of the morning was definitely Hot Potato Baby.  The kids passed around a baby toy as the music played.  When the music stopped, the person holding the toy had to take a bite of baby food.  The girls giggled through the entire game. Everyone had their own spoon and some of them, surprisingly, enjoyed the mashed green beans. 
  • Because it was a backwards party, my daughter gave each of the girls a present to open when she opened their presents.  These gifts were straight Dollar Tree’s party favors section, but the girls loved them!  I heard about half of the girls say, “this is the best birthday party ever!”

Except for myself, all of my family is finally healthy after a three-week-long sick bug pass-around game.  So, as you would expect, my husband has now taken my three oldest children to a germ loaded inflatable jumping place.  I’m betting at least one of my kids will be sick again by Monday.

I didn’t ask permission to use pictures of the kids so here are a few birthday party pictures, minus all extra children.

My favorite crazy hairstyle

Did I mention my daughter LOVES treats?

My sweet girls, after the bash

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  I will not eat yucky leftover birthday cake just because it is there.

On a sad additional note, I have failed.  My daily organizing and sweetness goals were crushed yesterday after a hard fought 7-day-long streak.  In honesty, I am not too devastated.  I will still continue in my quest to organize the house, but being nice all of the time is too draining.

Welcome to Our Hall of Fame (Children’s Artwork Display)

My first name is Janae, but as a child, my family nickname was, “Fast Nae.”  Everything I did was not only fast, but rushed, and often sloppy.  I’m still working on that.  And now, I have been blessed with my own mini-me.

My 6 year old is a bright girl, but has not only inherited my fast trait, she has mastered it.  She’s started bringing home loads of sloppy work from school and my husband and I have been racking our brains, trying to come up with some ideas to help her.

We know she’s always motivated by candy, but in an effort to lower our family cavity rate,  I thought we should try out some different forms of motivation.

Here’s one idea I came up with: The Davis Family Hall of Fame

To make this, I bought (4) 14×14 in. frameless bulletin boards and a pack of very stylish push pins at Walmart.  Then I found some fabric to cover the boards and giddily purchased my very first staple gun-oh the power!

I just stapled the fabric to the boards and hung them in our hall.  This was so easy, even for my craft impaired, slightly ADD self.

I thought the brown would be cute, but now I’m thinking I might redo these with more colorful backgrounds.

We plan on using the boards for artwork, stories, tests, or any project my kids really make effort on and try!  As a family we will be taking fun guided tours of our Hall of Fame regularly so the kids will know that we are proud of them and will, hopefully, want to do their best.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Tell each of my children how proud I am of them.

The Muddy Shoe Game

My spirited 6 year old daughter has started coming home from school with wet muddy shoes on a regular basis.  Last week I’d had enough.

I asked her, “Really?  Again?  Why? “What could you possibly be doing at recess that would get your shoes that muddy!?!  Well???” I say.

She looks at me, wheels churning, “It’s just so wet at recess…too many swamps.  I play this game.  I just can’t help it!”

Yesterday, I found out her game.

I went to pick my daughter up from school.  As I was waiting in my graham cracker crumb filled mini-van, I spotted her a distance away.  All of the other children are quickly running or walking away from the school.  Not my daughter.

She is standing on the grass, just off of the walkway, on the precipice of what appears to be a gigantic lake of water–a 10 foot long puddle!  I see her innocently dip the toe of her shoe in and I know there is little hope.  The puddle is beckoning her and, sadly, I am too far away to save the shoes!

Suddenly, she makes her decision.  She leaps like a sprinting deer and bounds straight through the length of puddle!  Noooo!

We have now started the Davis Family Footwear Foundation and will be accepting mud-free shoes and rain boots in a child size 11.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  “I am grateful for my spirited daughter.” Now repeat 5 times.
Everyday Goals, Day 7: Do something nice for someone.  Organize–anything!

You Know You Could Be A Better Mother When:

You stray from your cereal routine and give your daughter a breaded sausage for breakfast.

Like most days, you run out of time to pack her a healthy lunch for school, so you tell her to buy school lunch.

She comes home from school the same day and says, “Mom, this was the best day ever!  I got a corn dog for my breakfast and a corn dog for my lunch!”

You check the school lunch menu and, sure enough, her options were Southwest Rice Bowl or Pancake Sausage.  Was there really any question what she would choose?

You decide to stick with the theme, but switch it up a bit.  You give her a real corn dog for dinner.  OK, just kidding about the the corn dog for dinner.  We actually had McDonald’s.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: I think it’s pretty obvious.

Everyday Goals:  Day 6: Do something nice for someone.  Organize-anything!

My Husband’s New Friend

My husband has this new friend he adores. She is beautiful, dark, sleek, and not nearly as squishy as me. He met her through work.  He tells me she makes his life easier. She is so smart and does everything.  My kids even love her.  She plays with all of them.

She and my husband have been spending more time together at night.  Apparently, she knows how to make soothing sounds that help him relax.  I don’t make soothing sounds.

At first, I wasn’t thinking rationally.  I thought I might  accidentally splash her with a little water, but I refrained.

I’ve since worked out a few easy measures to ensure our successful cohabitation:

-She is forbidden to show her face when my husband walks in the door from work.  
-She is permanently banned from dinner.  
-And, she is not allowed to interrupt conversations. 

Things are a better now.   The magic between my husband and his friend  has dwindled, a bit.  She and I even hang out from time to time.

I also have a friend.  He is cute, but not so smart and sophisticated.  He doesn’t make soothing sounds.

I miss our simple life before the technology took over.  On the other hand, I think I’ll go get myself a new friend.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: Learn to accept my husband’s friends.
Every Day Goals, Day #5: Do something nice for someone.  Organize-anything!

4 Young Children and Thomas Jefferson–Fascinating!

I love learning about U.S. history.  I just can’t seem to remember most of it!  I’ve been teaching my kids the U.S. Presidents song, but, for today, I thought it would be easier to learn about one President at a time.  #3, Thomas Jefferson is our President of choice. You have to check this out!  He’s fascinating.

Amazing Facts I’m Teaching My Kids:
-He was in debt most of his life, and died in debt.
-He had red hair and bad posture.
-Martha and Thomas had six children together.  Four of them died as babies or children. Another died at the age of 25, during child birth.
-Martha, his wife, died before Thomas became President.  Their daughter, Martha, served as First Lady.
-After being sworn in as President he went back to his boarding house for dinner and, upon arriving, all seats were taken and no one stood right up to offer him a seat. 
-He had a fear of public speaking and only gave 2 speeches while he was President
-He was known to receive White House visitors in a bathrobe and slippers.
-He had a mockingbird named Dick at the White House that got to ride on  his shoulder whenever possible. 
-He started the tradition of shaking hands instead of bowing.
-He was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence.
-He owned slaves and, most likely, fathered at least one child with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings.
-He proposed a bill to outlaw slavery in all new territories.  It was defeated by one vote.
-He is said to have introduced waffles, french fries, and spaghetti to the U.S.  He even ate a tomato in front of a crowd to prove they weren’t poisonous.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams(2nd President) died on the same day, July 4th, 1826, exactly 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed!  They were friends, then enemies in life, but in their later years became good friends again.
-He wrote his own eulogy and epitaph before he died and did not mention he had served as President of the United States.


In honor of the President, we had waffles for dinner last night and we’re having spaghetti for dinner tonight. My husband will then pretend he’s Thomas Jefferson while he teaches the kids all of the fun facts.  Yes, I am making him do this against his will.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Try not to make fun of my husband
when he pretends to be Thomas Jefferson.
 My organizing and sweetness goals are still going strong–today will be day 4!
Everyday Goals: Do something nice for someone and organize–anything!

My Family of Snackoholics

my sweet snackoholics

I’m creating a small legion of snack obsessed children.  I’ve been cracking down, but I’m no match for this group. 

All of my kids are phenomenal eaters.  My 2 year old’s church nursery teacher said, “I’ve never seen a child who can eat sooo much–EVER!”  And this is common remark I hear about my kids.  I’ve heard it at birthday parties, play dates, and restaurants; my kids always get our money’s worth as they giddily make their way through the smorgasbord of snacks at The Golden Corral.

Even my picky eater, Evie, can hold her own. She is the only girl in her preschool, but her teacher just told me, “Wow, that girl can pack it in.  She always out eats the boys–all of them!”

And, thankfully, most of my children eat most vegetables too.   When I break out the carrots or barbie trees (broccoli) the kids chow down.

We’ve had numerous children over for lunch or snack time, so I know this isn’t normal.  The majority of our visitors are cute little birds, picking at their food here or there.

Where are my birds?

I’m certain I have unintentionally created my snackoholics by my own extreme love of food and snacking.  My husband is a snacker too.  Currently, I am trying to encourage him to refrain from getting a bowl of cereal immediately after every dinner.  He is not too fond of my encouragement.  

My sister-in-law once told me she lets her eight children get snacks whenever they would like.  She says, because of this, they aren’t so snack obsessed.  That seems a little risky for my bunch.

For now, until I come up with a superior plan, I will keep encouraging/forcing my apparently starved children to have one snack, maybe two and wait for dinner.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Rid my home of unhealthy kid snacks.

Goal update, Day 2:  For my sweetness goal I gave my husband a shoulder massage.  As for my organization goal, with the under appreciated help of my baby, I did a quick fix for the fridge–that’s more cleaning than organizing, but I’m counting it.

Every Day Goals: Do something nice for someone. Organize–anything! 

Ahhh…much  better

Life as a STASHER

I have a 5 year old stasher at my house.  Candy, gum, clothes, toys– anything she deems takable, she stashes at various secret locations throughout the house.
 This morning my husband couldn’t find his keys.  He asked Evie (the stasher) if she had seen them.  She said very coyly, “let me go check the van.”   Evie came back with a collection of about 7 keys!  I’m still not quite sure where all of those came from.
Two weeks earlier I quickly needed to find $1.50 for my oldest daughter to take to school.  I said “if anyone can find me some quarters you will get a cool surprise.” Evie quietly walked away and came back with a little pink coin purse full of about 5 dollars in change!  I gave her a marshmallow.

She’s a stasher, probably a stealer too.

Update:  Day 1 was successful!  For my nice thing of the day I wrote my husband a sweet note and had my kids color it.  My organizing goal didn’t get the grand kick off I had planned, but the silverware drawer is indebted to me for my efforts.

  Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Take inventory of the stasher’s stashes. 
Everyday Goals:  Do something nice. Organize–anything!

My Oh So Needed Goals

Today, I’m going to shake things up a bit!  I’m getting a little crazy!  I need to make some changes so I’m starting here.  Just a couple of simple things really, but it’s long overdue.

First, goal #1.  I need to be nicer.  That should be easy, right?  I think I’ve gotten out of the habit of being my normal darling sweet self.

 Each night at dinner we ask the children, “what have you done nice today?” This hasn’t been entirely successful.  My oldest girl, Dani, will often scramble to give someone a hug before answering, “I gave a hug.”  While my 2 year old, Mase, usually tells us about who he hit that day–but they’ll get it eventually..I hope.

So, I’m going to set a better example for my family.  I’m going to start doing my additional nice thing for the day too.

On to Goal #2.  I’m a stay at home mom, who should probably get demoted, maybe even fired when it comes to keeping my home organized.  Baby #4 is not an excuse anymore.  Right now I would cringe at the thought of someone looking behind almost any closed door, cupboard or drawer.

So, I’m going to organize at least one thing a day (Sunday excluded).  I know truly organized people do much more, or maybe less, because they’re so organized, but for now–baby steps.

  My plan is to stick with it for a year, but I’ll start with a month and when I’m successful I’m having a celebration dinner (only for the organizing–I probably shouldn’t get a reward for just being nice) with my husband at a restaurant of my choosing, within our budget.  I haven’t mentioned this to my husband yet, but how could he not celebrate such an uncommon event.

Grateful Mom Goals:  #1. Do something nice for someone.  #2 Organize anything.

My husband–extra handsome as he unloads the dishwasher