Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Monday, April 30, 2012

More Family Birthdays!

When you have a large family, who likes to eat desserts, there's nothing better than using the excuse of celebrating everyone's special days!  :)  This was a big one!...Dad's 60th, and Becky's 30th... er, I mean, 24th.  Everyone enjoyed the birthday treats, courtesy of my sister, Holly, OF COURSE!  She outdoes herself, EVERY time!  And, THEN, she leaves leftovers for "the kids...."  UGH!  (What's that frosting-like substance on my mouth?... Oh, it must just be toothpaste.... yogurt?  Whatever.  STOP JUDGING!)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My "baby" sister is 30 today!  I'm not sure how the math works, that I'm still only 29... but we'll just not think about it too hard.  :)

What a blessing she is to me!  She is a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend... and a very hardworking mamma of 2 little ones!  She lifts my spirits on a daily basis.
I can be completely myself with her, and she loves me just as I am.  I love that about her.
I love that... 
she always looks for the bright side.
she laughs at the Target Lady on SNL.
she sends me texts of my beautiful nephew and niece on the swings at the park... or eating frozen yogurt... or playing in laundry baskets.
we can cry together and laugh together, all within a 30 second timeframe.
she can cut and color my hair!
she makes simple look beautiful.
she can read a novel in 2 hours.
she thinks everything I make is wonderful and always encourages me to keep being creative.  :)
she loves Twilight and junk food and earrings and the color pink.
she's a loving mother to her babies.

I love that she is my sister, and I thank God that I have her in my life.
Happy BIRTHDAY, sweet little sister!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

I LOVE music.  I grew up listening to all kinds.  My parents both played music constantly, pretty much from any genre.  They both enjoyed some of the same; but each had their own specific tastes as well.

Then, I married my husband, who gives a new meaning to having varying tastes in music.  I only thought my parents had exposed me to a broad variety in their old album collections... but my husband's tastes are even more unique.  Needless to say, our home is filled with it most of the time.  I often wonder what my boys will remember and how they'll enjoy their own "flavors" as they grow.

What I love about music is that it's such an expression of emotion... no matter what.  That emotion can be completely different for the artist performing, or for the audience enjoying.  It can change from person to person... to stages in time... There are NO rules.  I love NO rules!!!  :)

The song I'm posting is a great example of how someone can come away with a completely different meaning than what may have been intended.  And WHO CARES?  No rules, remember?

I honestly don't remember the first time I heard it.  But I remember the first time I listened.  We had just brought home our third baby boy.  He was fresh and new and plump and pink.  His little newborn cries sounded like that of a baby lamb.  I was fully aware this would most likely be my last time to experience the sweetness of a newborn baby.  And having done this twice before, I was also aware that our time would be short.  In no time, he would be uttering his first words, taking his first steps, and fighting with his big brothers.  I was in NO rush, and wanted to enjoy every snuggle we were allowed.

During our hospital stay, my husband (knowing I'm a HUGE fan) brought me the newest Celine Dion project, entitled Miracle.

She sang these words so sweetly, and all I could think about were my sweet, newborn babies... how precious and wonderful it was to be their mommy... how I loved seeing their faces for the very first time... kissing their little bird-shaped lips, and feeling the flutter of their hearts beating next to mine, when I held them close.... how the mere presence of their new lives brightened my world with inexplicable joy.

Several weeks ago, I heard this version, and I've been playing it incessantly on my ipod.  It takes me back to that moment in time (like music often does) and allows me to wallow in my sweet memories.... makes my heart just explode with happiness.  How I love being their mommy... from the first time I saw their faces.  :)

Maybe you don't like this song.  Maybe it doesn't say anything to you all.  Maybe you love it, but it has completely different meaning.  That's the bliss of it.  No rules.  :)

(P.S.  To listen, you'll have to go to YouTube.  Just click the "play" button and it will redirect you.  Enjoy!)


Monday, April 16, 2012

Gluten Free Deep Dish Cookie Pie

I have made this recipe SEVERAL times, and I think there is only ONE person who didn't so much care for it.  HOWEVER, most have loved it, and it's a health"ier" version of a classic dessert.  Who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie?

I do NOT claim this recipe as my own.  I saw a friend post it on FB, and she probably got it from Pinterest.  If you're hesitant to try it, don't be!  Trust me, it's weird... and delicious.  (My favorite part about it is that it, in NO way, tempts me to eat the batter... tasted it once, and that was enough to satisfy my curiosity.  This dessert is SO worth the wait... but only AFTER it has been baked!  :)

Here goes:

2 cans white beans or garbanzo beans (500 g total). DRAIN and RINSE WELL!
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 T canola oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips.

Throw everything in the food processor EXCEPT the chocolate chips, and blend REALLY, REALLY well.  Then, fold in the chocolate chips.  Fills an 8x8 pan well.  Put in a 350F oven for 35 minutes.  Let stand for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

I've used less sugar and we've liked it just fine.  I've also substituted black beans for the garbanzo beans, and my family actually liked it better.  I'm not a big fan of adding the canola oil, but I haven't tried an alternative yet.  I'm on a bit of a coconut oil kick right now, so I'm anxious to do that.  I've also added almond extract, and that was pretty tasty.

Play with it to your liking.  ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter At Our House.

The last few years, we've celebrated Easter at the Ketteman homestead.  I knew my SIL's mom would enjoy seeing pictures of her sweet, little grandbaby (Hi, Mrs. Modglin!), so I thought I'd share some of our family pics from the day.

We'll start off with my adorable parents.  :)

And, of course, some yummy spring dessert treats (courtesy of my sister's SKILLS!)

I couldn't leave out one of the Easter egg hunt (Aunt Holly is such a helper!):

My handsome little brother and beautiful sister:

A couple of random, favorite snapshots:

My little bro's beautiful family:

Last, but not least, my sister's beautiful fam:

Ah, yes, nothing like celebrating a beautiful, spring day with a house, full of love and laughter.  So thankful.

My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.