Brass Tacks Cookies

Simply the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1 scant tsp salt
3 cups flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

note: this recipe is so good it's the first one to be entered into my new journal!

Cream the butter and sugar; add eggs and beat in one at a time. Mix in the vanilla, the salt and the baking soda dissolved in the hot water.

Stir in the flour and chocolate chips.

Place generous spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking tray.

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies should be very lightly browned and JUST set.

Try to stop at two.

Red in the Morning

I guess the old saying about "Red sky in the morning" is true! Miss Rose and JT discovered a patch of glowing carpet in the hallway this morning. It was reflecting the bright red sunrise, which Miss Rose caught on camera.

Now, it is overcast and raining; blowing a bit.

My Favourite Things Part 2

The house is peaceful and quiet after a day of visiting with my sister and her three precious children -- the youngest a baby just six weeks old. I'm so grateful for the gifts of my two sisters! I moved out of home and overseas before they (or I) had reached adulthood. I didn't move back until we all were married, and two of us with children -- 10 years later. So there was a lot of time to make up, to get to know and love each other. And we did, and we do. So very much.

This beautiful arrangement was made by my sister Hannah and given to me for Christmas. The picture does not do it justice.

A personalized wall hanging designed, made, and given to me for Christmas a couple of years ago, by Deb.

Here is a heartwarming set of love-gifts from several family members! The doll, made and given by our Mamma. The wooden shelf, designed, made and given by our Dad. The two adorable purses (green -- mine; yellow -- Miss Rose's) were designed, constructed and quilted by the oh-so-talented Deb.

The Mamma who planted the seeds of home-grown gifts in her girls made this quilted wall-hanging for Christmas one year.

Passing on that seed to the next generation is easy! This artwork was all done by my two children. It will be displayed wherever we live. It is just beautiful.

A surprise gift star-mobile planned, made and given by Miss Rose to little Toby soon after he was born.

And the precious gift-children God has given me -- the picture is my favorite and was taken by a sweet lady who was just starting out in business for herself. She had a little shop at the markets, and spent a great deal of time and care getting everything just so, for my children.

Unfortunately her shop and everything in it burned down not long after this photo was taken.

I am so sad I did not keep her details -- but if she somewhere, sometime, sees this photo -- thank you so much
it means so much to me
and wherever I am, this photo will be.

God willing.

My Favourite Things

I love it when Baby goes to bed. Oh, but I love it just as much when he wakes up. He's so cheerful and excited to see us!

Baby's quilt was made with much love by Aunt Deb.
When we weren't sure Baby was going to be okay, and when things weren't going smoothly in the pregnancy, Aunt Deb (who was expecting her own little bundle, and then had him 10 weeks before Baby was born) was all the while crafting this beautiful quilt for a Baby she had yet to meet.

Thank you Aunt Deb. It's one of my most precious possessions. And Baby uses it every day!

She Makes a Mamma Proud

Yesterday, Miss Rose enjoyed visiting at her Aunt Deb's house. Miss Rose is such a little Mamma, herself.

Aunt Deb was busy baking when I arrived to pick Miss Rose up, and she had a lovely lump of honey wheat bread rising on the stove. When we went home, it seemed a good time to try out Aunt Deb's recipe.

Since Miss Rose is such a big girl nowadays, it seemed right that she should learn how to knead and bake bread.


baked lovely and brown

and here's the loaf mostly gone!

Aaaah, that girl makes me proud.

Smokehouse Salad Recipe

Smokehouse Salad

Prepare sturdy salad greens

A generous amount of:

onions (green, red or white), sliced thinly;
red ripe tomatoes;
bacon, fried crispy and chopped;
hard boiled eggs -- enough per person.

Add cheese or whatever else you like in a salad. I added cheese since this was a main dish salad.

Smokehouse Dressing:

Mix well:
2 TBSP (Aus -- equiv 8 tsp) brown sugar
2 tsp boiling water to dissolve.
Add :
2/3 cup of egg mayonnaise, 3 TBSP (60 ml) milk and 1 tsp liquid smoke flavouring.

After this, you may have other salads, but this is the one you will be thinking of, forevermore.

Church Day

3yo was thrilled with an impromptu "found balloon" party; and watching Daddy mess all the windows and squeeeeeeek them clean again.

Dinner: Chicken 'n' Biscuits


Daily journal below, idea from Eyes of Wonder:

day 1

day 2

day 3

I think this might be my new favorite thing to do. Thank you, Jewels, for your wonderful post on this subject!

To Market, To Market

Every two weeks, my sister and I have a market date. We enjoy each other's company while we stock up on locally grown, fresh fruit and vegetables at a local farmers' market and variety stall warehouse. A specially flavored coffee or ethnic meal adds a little fun to our morning too.

Food Court

Today's treat: Spicy Turkish gozleme, stuffed with beef, cheese, cucumber, tomato, cilantro, pepper and other mysterious ingredients.

The dough was rolled out with a long dowel, translucently thin. Filled with goodies, a turbaned woman fried it on a hot griddle. Sort of like a fragrant Turkish quesadilla.


Yesterday (Friday) Daddy worked from home.

And I suspect Daddy enjoyed it too.

I'm In Love

With this post and everything in it!

Daily Journalling with Eyes of Wonder

Rainy Day

On a gray and rainy day like today, something different cheers everyone up.

A hot and tasty lunch.

Chicken Soup and Blueberry Muffins

Here is a little person who was comforted by someone wonderful:

Sisters are good for snuggling

Blueberry Muffins!


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine / butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In large bowl beat eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla and melted butter. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

A Slice of Life Today

Today we did some of this:

Blueberry and Cream Cereal and Brownies

And a LOT of this:
Laundry, of course!

The kids got all of their work done today:

Can't do this in a classroom!

Even Littles like to do school.

Went here:
Soccer Training

And the non-soccer players?

Love it when Bigs help Littles.

After Dinner, playtime!

Love it when Little plays with Littlest!

The babies love each other.

And after everyone is tucked in bed, Mamma makes a couple of these:

Crocheted cotton thread dishcloths and dishpad.

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