The Usticks: August 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cowboy Oatmeal Cookies

This is one of my favorite recipes from the All Recipes Tried & True Cookies cookbook.

Cowboy Oatmeal Cookies
makes: 3 dozen
preparation: 15 minutes
cooking: 10 minutes
total: 40 minutes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream margarine, oil, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually stir in the sifted ingredients until well blended. Mix in oats and butterscotch chips. Drop from a teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Let set up on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

  4. My little tweaks:
    1. chocolate chips instead of butterscotch chips
    2. I add in a handful of old-fashioned oats (gives cookies a little more texture)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

a birthday party and other happenings

August 21st was Avery's cousin Addison's 2nd birthday! So Saturday we headed over to her house for a little birthday celebration. It was so much fun! Avery always enjoys playing with Addy's toys. Here Avery is watching over the gift-unwrapping.

Addison received a Mrs. Potato Head from her dad, Travis. He shipped it from overseas since he's still on deployment.

Here's the birthday girl!! Isn't she cute? I love that smile! She's playing with a pink cell phone =)

This girl knows how to do it! Talking on the phone while driving... she's already a good multi-tasker! I wonder what the cell phone laws will be in 15 years once she's actually driving?

What a sweet cousin! Addison stopped to give Avery a peck on the back of the head while she was pushing her around the house. I had no idea Avery was going to love this car so much. Addison was so nice to let Avery play with it for so long!

Sunday I came down with a cold and just felt like a truck had hit me. Brent totally came to my rescue and offered to take Avery to church with him while I stayed home to sleep. It was SO nice. I slept for 4 extra hours.. definitely would NOT have happened with a 1 year old around. On his way home he brought Chinese food and Avery enjoyed playing with the chopsticks.

Later, I asked Avery for a tissue, and this is what she did:

I love this next picture because Avery actually kept on the bow in her hair... She's definitely not an "accessory" girl YET. I have a feeling she will be eventually given how much she loves my Mom's jewelry when she comes to visit. She wants nothing to do with hats, bows, socks, or shoes. (I have recently overcome the shoes issue, though. Hooray!) Anyway, I grabbed the camera when she came at me like this. I have wished the past year that she would wear hair bows, especially in public, because I get the BOY comments so often-- even now! This, surely, would make her look like a girl, right? Since the pink outfits do not.

Avery is into "headstands" lately. She even does them with no hands. Occasionally I'll help her flip over and do a somersault. She likes that.

Avery and her tub of wipes. Two dollars well spent =) ... hours of entertainment.

Friday, August 21, 2009

best time of the day!

Tonight Brent asked Avery if she was ready for her bath. She immediately jumped up out of my lap and darted from her room to the bathroom! It was definitely the first time she recognized what he was saying and she had the biggest grin on her face!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

a girl and her "apple"

Ok, so the story leading up to this picture is quite funny to me. Just as a heads up, Avery's latest word is "apple." She and I headed out to Wal-mart today to grab some produce. We had literally just arrived in the produce section when she starts calling out "apple! APPle! APPLE!" and pointing like crazy towards the "bins" of apples, corn, green peppers, and nectarines. I panicked and started moving quickly past the bins to grab some zucchini (Brent's favorite) hoping she'd forget about the apples and move on. "APPLE!" Ok then I was frantically thinking how horrible of a mom I'd be to let my daughter hold an apple while we shop? I would, of course, end up paying for it! I had just arrived and wasn't ready to leave! Would anyone notice? Would a Wal-mart employee stop me and ask if I'd paid for that yet?! So I quickly decided it would be okay since I would purchase said apple at the end! Well, I accidentally grabbed a nectarine in the commotion. I handed it to Avery and she was THRILLED to finally be holding her "apple." Not two minutes later I glance down at her and she's CHEWING! Avery had already taken a few bites out of what I now notice to be a soft, juicy nectarine. I panic for a brief second and realize all I need to do is pick up a few more nectarines to add to the bunch and go pay for them! In the end it was one of Avery's quietest and happiest trips to the store. She would NOT let the nectarine go... by the time we got home and sat down for lunch she had eaten over half of it. I'm just amazed at how she learned to eat something like that on her own... and she didn't drop it once. Now THAT truly amazes me =)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

why not?

While Brent was making this:

Avery was busy doing THIS:

Don't worry... the soda can was NOT opened! Avery's fake sipping on it... while holding a nutrigrain bar... and sitting in a trash can lid. Hey, at least the girl had it figured out to use the pop-up lid part for a back rest!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


"Vacay" (can you hear brent snickering in the back? he loves that word) is over! We're back. Spent a week in the Outer Banks in a condo on the Sound. Avery had no problems doing sand angels and getting completely messy -- there was sand EVERYWHERE. She also loved Brent holding her in the ocean with the small waves crashing against them. I stayed at a safe distance on shore. I think I got water up to my knees =)

Probably the best part of getting dirty (especially sand in the eyes) for Avery was how we'd wash her face off with water from a bottle. Oh, she giggled her way through that! She even would get upset when we put the water away. Did I mention her grabbing the water bottle and successfully drinking water out of it with minimal/if at all drippage by herself? She grabbed Brent's nalgene bottle and sipped away, too. Let's not talk about how long it took her to transition to a sippy cup! She LOVED drinking water from my straw cups at meals. Geesh... this girl is a water baby. Her new favorite thing to do during bath time was to fill up her cups with the water coming out of the faucet and also drinking from the rushing water. ok, enough of the water stories!

Here's Avery in the car with her puppy D'Angelo riding down to the beach last Saturday. Traffic was pretty good, actually. Thank goodness!

Play time with Daddy on the couch.

View of the Sound from our balcony:

Despite some long days with only 1 nap, Avery still had some fun play time!

Now we're back and we've already celebrated the coming arrival of Kennan and Travis' little boy with a baby shower here! We can't wait to meet little Wyatt! MAJOR thanks goes to my mom & aunt for helping me put it all together!!!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

beachin' it up

we survived day #1 without any major sunburns! avery still will not wear a sun hat. it took 3 rounds of shampoo to get the sunscreen goop out of her hair! we're staying in a condo on the Sound side of the OBX. the view from our porch is gorgeous when the sun is setting. i might try and post some pictures in a day or so once I take some! so far we're having fun. avery's been a trooper so far with only taking one nap a day instead of her usual 2 naps. hmmm.. maybe brent and i are the real troopers! hehe.. just kidding.

Friday, August 07, 2009

thank you

thanks for all the "caption comments" on the last post! they all made me laugh! =)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

caption it

I thought it would be fun to ask all my readers (all 3 of you!) to caption this photo! Leave your idea in the comments section.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

more pictures

Brent's been gone all weekend visiting friends up in D.C. and Avery and I have been missing him! We went out to the park this evening to catch some "fresh" air... hello muggy city!

Here's cousin Henry enjoying birthday cake... Happy 2nd Birthday! (July 10th)
Avery loves looking at the "babies" in the frames... I wonder when she'll figure out she's looking at herself! I can't help but sing the "You're So Vain" song when I see her playing with her pictures. haha

And one more just 'cause it's my blog, and I can! =)