Monday, May 30, 2011

Healthy Chocolate Muffins

That's right, I said healthy!

Today I was craving something sweet. Instead of nibbling on the Hershey bar in our pantry, I decided it would be a good idea to make something sweet that I could eat when the craving for chocolate struck, that wouldn't make me feel guilty.

So my kitchen became my laboratory. I experimented a little and ended up making something that really satisfied me. I came up with a chocolate muffin recipe that doesn't contain butter or sugar, and tastes really good. The first attempt was a bit dense and dry, but the second was moist and delicious.

Here is the recipe for you to try:

2/3 cup oat flour
1/3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup wheat bran
3 TBSP cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup steviva (granulated stevia)
pinch of salt

Mix above ingredients together, then add:

1/3 cup plus 3 TBSP egg whites (or the whites from 3 large eggs)
1/4 cup water with 1 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved & a splash of imitation rum

Mix together with a rubber spatula until moistened. Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 13 minutes. The tops might be a tad moist to the touch, but resist the urge to over bake them. I got 8 muffins from this recipe.

Nutrition facts per muffin: 72 calories, 2.9g fat, 9.7g carbs, 3.4g fiber, 4.2 protein (according to the recipe analyzer on - I use this quite a lot to get nutritional information from my homemade meals)

Not bad at all! That's not a lot of calories for a treat AND you are getting some fiber and protein too. Of course, I had 4 of them today, but I had to taste test my recipes. I couldn't give you a wonderful recipe without making sure it tasted good!

Please try it and feel free to give me input.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Emma is 5

Well, my baby is 5. I can hardly believe it. We were telling her the story about the night she was born. About how she woke us up in the middle of the night and said "I want to come out now!". And she was asking questions about how she got out of mama's "tummis" and seemed very fascinated by how babies come out your "front butt"! My girls are all so horrified by it that they swear they will never have kids. Eden says she will adopt hers instead. I tell her that while that would be awesome, she'll probably change her mind when she is older. Much older. 
The other day, Eden said something about how she can't wait until she's a teenager and can have a baby like those girls on TV. Um....ABSOLUTELY NOT, I said. I don't even know how she knows about that show, we've certainly never watched it here! And I thought, nice....they have to sensationalize teen pregnancy with a reality show. Anyway....
We had a lovely day. Her "best friend" Emma came over with her mom and siblings to play and give her gifts. Then we went to Chuck E. Cheese where they played games and ate pizza. I had the smallest salad known to man. I decided on the one trip only option not realizing they gave you a toddler size bowl to eat from. Next time, I'll spring for the all you can eat salad bar.
Then we came home for some chocolate cake and gift opening. She got nearly everything on her birthday wish list except for the princess pumpkin bed at the furniture store. But, of course, she was very happy with what she got. In fact, she is still thanking us for her "best birthday ever" and all her cool presents. It's so nice to have children that are appreciative.
Tomorrow we will stay at the Govenor's Inn in Casselton because we hear they have a rockin' waterpark. We are all pretty excited. A little mini vacation close to home.
I keep asking Emma if I can put a brick on her head to get her to stop growing and she says NO! But she reassures me that she will always be my baby (tears). I am so lucky.

Monday, May 23, 2011

the weekend

I find it hard to believe that I haven't been out driving around with my camera looking for beautiful spring flowers to photograph. So this weekend, I took the opportunity to get a few shots of the tree in our front yard. All the flowering trees in the neighborhood are so beautiful and fragrant, I wish they would bloom all summer too.

Even weeds are beautiful in their own way. I love how my two younger girls still pick me weeds =) It's so fun to give mama "flowers".

This is a teddy bear shaped chocolate chip pancake that my 8 year old made for my 5 year old to surprise her before she woke up. She is getting really good at making pancakes. Eden is such an incredible child. I have to keep reminding myself that she is still only 8 because she is so mature and capable of things that even my 13 year old still doesn't do.

"she wears the cone of shame"

Poor Lizzy. She was starting to disturb her stitches and her incision was bleeding so she has to wear the cone of shame. The worst thing about it (for us) is that it stinks so bad from all the drool it catches. She bumps into everything with it. Knocked Emma off a kitchen chair one day. She came at her like a snow plow and just pushed her right off the chair and onto the floor. Not that she meant to.

This pretty much sums up our weekend. Nothing eventful. Unless you count laundry. I am still amazed at the fact that it takes me an ENTIRE week to finish laundry. Just when I finish putting the last of the folded clothes away, it's time to start all over. If there were one reason for not having more children it would be so that I wouldn't have MORE clothes to wash. Laundry for 5 is rough.

Friday, May 20, 2011


This is Teddy. My mom's new pup. He's a maltipoo, which is a cross between a maltese and a toy poodle. I guess they are supposed to be super smart.

Here's how he ended up with my mom:

We took a trip to the mall 2 days ago, just so she could get her blood pressure checked out at the clinic. We ended up leaving with a dog. Actually, we went out to the car, then back in for the dog.

They have a window in front of the pet store where they put the cutest little pets on display for the whole world to oooh and aaah over. We did our share of ooohing and aaahing, no doubt. And we were curious to see how much one of these cute little buggers cost. Since there wasn't a price listed on the window we went inside to inquire. We were given an opportunity to hold one and got sucked in.

He was SO CUTE!

My mom was almost whining...."I waaaaaaant one"

So as we were leaving the mall we were talking about how she really should get a puppy because she's been wanting a pet for quite a long time. A companion would do wonders for her. Plus, it would give her an excuse to get out for walks and move around more in general.

We got to the van and mom stood my the door and said, "Let's go back in. I want him."

It was such a spur of the moment thing and so unlike her that I was all for it! "Yes!", I said. "Good for you!". And we went back in, bought the puppy and all the necessities and went home. It was weird how it happened. I thought there would be more involved in buying a dog but I guess when you buy it from the mall, it's no different than buying a sweater. Except it costs a lot more. And it poops.

If a sweater pooped, it probably wouldn't sell very quickly.

Of course my mom is just in love with her baby. As are my girls and I. Even Andreas agrees that his cuteness factor is off the charts. And he is so good. Always goes potty on his little potty tray. Another bonus besides being super cute and tiny and good at not pooping on the carpet is that he is non shedding. I guess they don't have fur but instead have hair like we do.

He had two brothers. I'm thinking Lizzy needs a little playmate =)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Syttende Mai Pictures

My mom is celebrating the Norwegian constitution day in her USA shirt. At least the colors are the same...hehe.

Pølse med lompe (hot dog wrapped in lefse with fried onions)


Yellow cake with vanilla custard and strawberry preserves covered in whipped cream and strawberries.Andreas loves this cake. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


What the heck am I doing inside blogging on a gorgeous day like today, you ask? Well, I'm asking myself the same question. Actually, I have only a few minutes before I need to pick up my wee one from preschool. And, I needed something to take my mind off that wonderful smell coming from my kitchen. I am making cake for dessert tonight. It's Syntedde Mai - so we Norwegians have to celebrate. Uff da!

Also, I wanted to get the pictures off my camera from last night. We had a fire and made smores. I took pictures while everyone else stuffed their faces. It certainly wasn't a typical Monday night, but who says it needs to be a weekend to have fun like that?!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good news!

We are expecting another baby! No, not me, silly! A baby bird!

If you remember, we were quite sad around here last week when we found out there was a nest robber among us and all three robin eggs were missing. This morning I noticed a bird fly up near our kitchen window and I remember seeing one come up pretty close yesterday as well. I was very hopeful because I know there has been a nest outside our window since moving into this house.

I quietly went out onto the patio and sure enough, there was a mama bird sitting in the nest.

As I moved closer, she flew off and I discovered that she was indeed sitting on an egg! A beautiful, fragile pink egg!

Eden will be so pleased! Anyone know what type of bird this is??

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Last year at this time

This year?
My irises are barely there.
It's grey
and cold
and wet.

I feel about like my plant...

Friday, May 13, 2011

sad news

Eden has been so excited to find a new egg in the nest each day. There was a total of 3 eggs as of yesterday.

This morning, on her way to school, she checked on the eggs (like she does often) only to come running back to the house almost in tears.

"The eggs are gone! All 3 of them are GONE!"

Her heart was broken and now mine is too. I was so looking forward to photographing new baby birds. And it was so endearing to see how protective Eden was of those eggs, making sure the neighborhood kids got just close enough to look but NOT touch. And now they have disappeared.

Maybe a squirrel got to them? I'd love to think that the mother bird was somehow able to move them to a new nest, higher up, but I don't even know if that is possible. We sure are sad about it though.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Without a dog

Andreas left this morning to take Lizzy to the vet. She is getting spayed today. The surgery requires her to spend the night there. So we will be without a dog in the house all day, all night and part of tomorrow. I don't know how to react.

Part of me just wants to jump for joy, open all the doors and leave meat laying around the house. And parts of me feels a tad guilty for those feelings. Because, I have grown to love her despite all the petty annoyances.

I do feel a little giddy right now though. Here's why:
1) No gate blocking the staircase to trip over and stub our toes. However, it does serve as a nice stopper for when we slip and fall down the stairs. Yes this has happened. Multiple times.
2) I can be eating something, suddenly have to get up and do something in the next room and not have to take my food with me.
3) I can vacuum this morning and our floors will still be hair free tonight =)
4) I can leave the french doors to the living room open so that it doesn't feel like an ice box in there
5) I won't have to slip on drool or wipe it off my pants every 10 minutes
6) No barking. There's no barking!!!!!
7) Nothing will be stolen and chewed up and I won't have to wipe tears because of it.
8) People can come to my door now and actually step inside without fear. Come on over friends!!!! We are hosting a NO-DROOL party! No jumping, no shedding, no barking. Hurry! Act fast! This is a limited time offer. catch my drift?

I mean, there are probably a million reasons to feel a little like I'm on vacation right now, but you've heard it all before. Blah blah blah....words words more words. You are sick of me complaining about my dog. I get it.

And how could I not love this?

Of course it didn't take long to turn into this:

But she is still a beautiful, loyal companion.
Have a safe surgery, Lizzy Bear. We will see you soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I like this picture even though it's blurred. Kinda cool. The kids were having fun chasing Lizzy in the backyard last night. I was too, actually.

I caught Eden in mid-wedgie-picking.

Will she get it?



Dive Lizzy!

Waiting for Emma to kick the ball.

Soccer dog

We're going to have a baby soon!

Well, what did you think I meant???

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pictures from Mother's Day

My 13 year old, Hanna, had a school dance last Friday. She looked so pretty! If you know her, you know that she does NOT wear dresses very often. She is more of a sweatshirt and jeans type of girl.

This is the breakfast my girls surprised me with on Mother's day morning. I was upstairs getting ready for church and when I came down, this was waiting for me. I thought it was very sweet of them.

Mother's day ice cream cake. Yum!

My mom. She was in mid sentence I guess. I only took about 7 pictures total that day instead of my usual 200. So this is all I got, sorry mom.

My sisters and me.

And mom with her kids (except Dave who lives in Omaha).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Because I love ANY reason to decorate the house....

Because I love ANY reason to do something special for my kids...

Because I love ANY reason to make fun food....

I celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Since it's almost mother's day... about a post about my mom?

I'm trying to figure out what to do today. My mother wants me to come over so I can see her cleaning progress. She's been cleaning kitchen cupboards and getting rid of old (reeeeally old) stuff she doesn't use. And since she has a general dislike for throwing things which might be useful at some point, guess who has recently acquired a few boxes of reeeeeally old stuff (i.e. food coloring, spices, jello, etc. from the 1980's)........ME! LOL - I love you mom, I know you are just thinking of me and trying to give me anything I could use. It's still funny though.

I remember going through her pantry a while back, maybe I was helping her clean shelves to make room for other stuff, and I found food that literally expired 20 years ago. I mean, really. There were cans that my dad bought, stuff my mother would never cook with. My dad has been gone for 8 years now.

It's always fun to help her sort through closets. You never know what you're going to find. Like her stash of old medical supplies from when she worked in the hospital. She hasn't worked for 17 years or so. And so we like to tease her about the kind of stuff she still has. A staple remover? Really? I mean, the woman is practically ready for surgery.....just in case!

As a kid, I was always amazed that everyone, even strangers, were able to tell what my mom did for a living. I'd get a paper cut and 5 minutes later my whole arm would be in a cast. So I'd be somewhere and some random person would feel sorry for me and say, "oh, did you break your arm, honey?".... and I'd say, "No, I got a paper cut." .... to which they'd reply "Mom's a nurse, huh?"....

Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a tad. But there was always a need to protect even the littlest of boo-boos in the best way possible.

Mom is a big saver. A little bit of a hoarder (I see where my Eden gets it). But not like those hoarders you see on tv. In addition to her love for saving, she has a love for organizing. So while she might have tons of crap she really doesn't need yet can't bring herself to throw, she also has incredible organizational skills so that she is able to keep a neat and tidy house. Although it has been a while since she's had any energy for cleaning and organizing, I think it might be coming back to her considering all the recent cupboard purging that's been going on. I'm happy that she is feeling energized and that her back is finally allowing her to do things she wants to do.

Over the last two weeks it had been her laundry room that she was organizing. She'd call me and tell me that she found 13 extension cords and 3 powerstrips and don't I need that sort of thing? Then I would tell her, no, I actually own like 20 extension cords myself and really think that I have an over abundance the way it is. So she would say, but are you sure you couldn't use 13 more?? She's constantly trying to give me things that she doesn't want or need anymore. One time, she brought over one of her old toilet plungers and stuck it in our downstairs bathroom because we only had one and it was in our master bathroom upstairs. So she thought we needed one downstairs too. My husband was like, "She brought over her old poopie plunger and stuck it in our bathroom?????" I would think after all these years, nothing she did would surprise him anymore ;)

So mom, if you happen to read this, I'm sorry for teasing you. You know how much we like to give you grief. But you take it so well! Anyone else would just get pissy.  I love you and all your quirky little hoarding and purging ways. You have a very giving soul and love so much to help out your children. I am very lucky to have you for a mom. You can give me your 20 year old jell-o any day =)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Snow in May?
There's nothing quite like waking up on a dreary
spring morning in North Dakota; birds chirping, trees just barely
starting to bud, and snow on the ground.
That's it. I'm moving.

You know, I hate to be a complainer and all, but when you live in Fargo ND and suffer through frigid temperatures for what seems like an eternity, snow on the ground for what literally could be from October to May, get only 3 good months a year to play around outdoors without having to wear a down feather coat.....we have the RIGHT to complain a little!

I have lived in this area all my life but finally had an opportunity to move a few years back.
To Denmark, of all places. And the weather there isn't exactly awesome either. It isn't a cold as it
is here, but it is cloudy and dreary and cold quite a lot.
I'm thinking next time I move it will be south. Humidity? Bring it!
I can handle humidity.
Because the beauty of living here, is that you get brutal cold temps in the winter and
sweltering humid heat in the summer.

Survivor Man? Bah....I live in Fargo ND! I can survive anywhere!!