Thursday, February 28, 2013

Homemade Cupcakes

Alyzabeth and I hadn't baked together in a couple of months, probably not since Christmas.
So somewhat impulsive and last minute, after church we found a couple of "perfect" vanilla cupcake recipes to try. This one is very basic with lots of vanilla extract which I have in plenty (from making my own). Our grown daughter has her own perfect recipe which calls for a vanilla bean which I didn't have one on hand; so I searched the internet to find a recipe that I had all the ingredients. We baked two pans of cupcakes and then headed out the door to AA's golf tournament at South Hampton. The frosting was made after we returned, again with ingredients we had on hand. I do like the taste of cocoa so made a basic butter and cocoa frosting. I should have taken a picture of us all eating the leftover frosting..... fast sugar high! All very yummy!

Someone please tell me how one does not make a mess sifting cocoa and confectionars sugar together? We had fine cocoa dust all over the kitchen! I guess that is just part of the fun (and not so much fun cleaning up!).
Next we will bake a vanilla cupcake with buttermilk in the recipe and compare. I can't wait until I perfect a chocolate, lemon, lime and coconut cupcake along with the appropriate frosting. We had fun and made a mess!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

South Hampton JAX Spring Tour 02/24/2013

The third Tournament on the Jacksonville Spring Tour was held at South Hampton. We played this course during the Fall Tour but the back nine holes (10 through 18). This time, it was the front nine. AA and her Caddy Daddy always take time to hit a few balls at the driving range, chipping and putting. It was a cloudy day but very nice for an outdoor activity. The sun peeked out a little, the wind kept the temperatures in the low 70's. 

Daddy must have been telling a great story, AA is mesmerized!
We had to wait a few times while the "three-some" in front of us slowed us down (we were only a twosome), so the goofy started coming out:
Last hole (number 9):
Scores. This was AA's lowest in a tournament (50), so a very good day. Phillip is only five and he scored his best, a 40 (unbelievable!!):

Here's the goofy six (and under) years old boys and the lone "seven and under" girl:
Happy smiles!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Spring Festival - End of the Chinese New Year

We love celebrating the Chinese New Year and this year, we made our own lanterns. We recycled glass jars, used Modge-Podge and Chinese tissue papers. I added a handle using a coated wire and twisted it around the mouth of the jars.
We used both candle sticks and votive candles in them. Here is an explanation of the Lantern Festival.

Happy Full Moon and may your year be bright!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

First Baby Teeth - Gone!

From our facebook page on February 20, 2013:
Look what happened to Alyzabeth today. Two baby teeth EXTRACTED! I almost fainted; she did great - no tears, a brave girl! Her two permanent teeth are already in, right behind the stubborn baby teeth! Thanks Dawn Minney Cope for your note (Rosie had the same procedure a few weeks ago). We survived. Now to shell out the Tooth Fairy's big bucks for two teeth!

For a few months, we have watched AA's "big" (permanent) bottom two teeth begin pushing up through her gums, but a little behind and sideways to her bottom baby teeth. We made an appointment with her Dentist as the baby teeth were not becoming loose or wiggling at all. Sturdy and stubborn! And they were pushing her baby teeth toward the front creating gaps between her teeth. We had a feeling the Dentist Gary would "extract" them. We were so right!

This photo shows her permanent teeth right behind the small peek of the holes where her baby teeth were. Her permanent teeth are already about halfway in.

I am hoping the next baby teeth conform with the normal process of becoming loose and falling out naturally. Just think of the cost $$$ if we need more "extracted"! The first two are gone, onto more growing up!

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Daily Does of AA

My Mom took this photo of AA and myself (oops, Hubby just told me he took it - my bad memory!!).
Great picture of AA...... and I keep wondering how did I get this old!
Love my little girl!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vanilla Extract is Ready!

The homemade vanilla extract I made is ready to be used. I kept two bottles for myself. I strained about half of each bottle through a coffee filter and then filled two used vanilla extract bottles. I then filled the two original glass bottles back full with vodka. These two bottles will go into the dark cupboard for about six months. I just love making my own! Next, I will have to perfect another flavor of extract for gift giving.
The straining:

Refilling the glass vanilla bottles with vodka (we used the vodka bottles for Hubby's incense burner craft, so I had to store leftover vodka in a juice bottle).
Now to be patient!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Orange Park Country Club - Spring Tour #2

The second stop on the Jacksonville Spring Tour was at Country Club at Orange Park. It was a sunny, windy, very brisk day! I think it did reach 50 degrees, but the wind kept us all chilled.
I think this is the first time I saw AA's caddy (aka Daddy) sit down while AA was practicing before the tournament. She played the first nine holes with two boys in the "6 and under" age group (P. Dunham and A. Clark). She plays from the same tees and we did this once before during the Fall Tour.

The ninth hole was great as AA birdied the par 4 with three strokes. Her first birdie in a tournament!
 Award Ceremony with Tour Director Matt Forte:

 The Country Club building:
Next Tournament is at South Hampton!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day Recap! Day of Love

Happy Valentine's Day Recap! We had Valentine's Day cupcakes at the River House on Tuesday (the 12th), enjoying Jesse's music, family (Cathy, Werner, Nicole, Jordan, Mila, Leaa, Alivia, Dylan) and some friends that dropped in. It was nice to see the Chilton's, Martin's plus Pam and Dianna too!
Our Valentine's Day card exchange was on Wednesday the 13th as Nana was leaving the next morning, the 14th to head back to the FROZEN North!
Homemade and store bought cards:

I teared up when AA gave me her homemade card - I am the "best ever in the world" Mommy!
Drawing by AA:
Walking to the River House on Tuesday, no other pictures from that evening. We ate Aron's pizzas, enjoyed a drink and it seemed to get dark so soon.
Above: Letter for Alyzabeth from Nana.
Below: School Valentine's Day goodies including a book of AA's Valentine's from classmates: