The Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Before I share The Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie Recipe, here is a peak of our 10 year old son Peyton next to our new Christmas sign I painted on some scrap wood.  I’ll show the rest of my Christmas porch in another post. This arctic blast has brought things to a much needed halt around here.  It has been a gift for all the responsibilities to stop this weekend so we can enjoy a little Winter Wonderland and time together.

In Texas, we are having what we call the Icepocalypse.  Over 4 inches of ice (that’s 100% ice in the pictures!) has wreaked havoc on our roads and homes which isn’t something that normally happens down here.  In fact, Fort Worth, which is the neighboring city to our rural hometown is shutting down all the major highways tomorrow for clearing the ice.  While this might look weak to northern states, the day before was 80 degrees, and we normally don’t even get half an inch of snow each year.  Only in recent times have we gotten enough snow to cover the yard and build snowmen with that didn’t melt in an hour.  We are even holding church online since people can’t leave their homes.  Sadly, many are without power.  We have been very fortunate.  It’s memorable for sure!

Here is Carter who is 7.  I had to force him to come inside, and he only stayed long enough for me to defrost the frozen snot off his little face.  Sweet adventurous boy!

Now, my husband Sean and I have spent some time cleaning and cooking.  To my surprise, he came up with an AMAZING recipe that he adapted from a traditional recipe.  It’s the kind that you’ll want to make for neighbors and deliver while caroling.  Seriously so proud of his baking skills.  These are the newest Foster Christmas tradition, and I hope yours, too.

 

THE ULTIMATE OATMEAL COOKIE RECIPE

Ingredients (Makes about 5 dozen)

1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups of uncooked rolled oats

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix melted butter and sugars on low until smooth.  Add in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.  Next add it into the mixer on low with other ingredients minus the rolled oats until mixed.  After ingredients are creamed together, then pour in the rolled oats.  Don’t over mix!!!!
  4. Drop rounded teaspoons full onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes.  Watch them closely to make sure your oven/altitude agrees with the bake time.

Imagine my surprise when I was humbly cleaning the third bathroom.  I was tired, cranky, and Sean walked in with a cookie that I couldn’t even smell him baking over the bleach aroma.  It was heaven.  I had to have a second immediately.  He brought some to my neighbors.  My sweet friend ate 5, and her man barely got the last one.  These are REALLY good.  You got it? My husband’s secret is the pumpkin pie spice.  Don’t skip it.  DELISH!!!

What are your baking traditions? Do you bake for your friends and neighbors? I’d love to hear from you.  Don’t forget to pin this recipe so you can find it again!


 

 

Keep up, Honey!

 

Herringbone Dresser

I just refinished this dresser for my son Peyton. It has been handed down 3 times. My mom did her own refinishing on it in the 90s. Hey! People had the Rachel haircut and sponged paint on stuff.

Forgive me for being too anxious to strip off the paint to get a good before pic. HAHA! I watermarked that ugly pic! I used major paint stripping techniques over about 5 hours to get this mess off until it looked like this.

Much better. It just needed a little love in the form of Duck Egg Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and a little taping skills. I am thrilled with how it turned out.

I am working on some art work, but I wanted to try out the Deer Silhouette just for fun.
Stay tuned for a full reveal of his room, including his fun new bed I’m building and his Urban Outfitters bedding that I got on the CHEAP to create a fun tween room.

Capturing Inspiration: It’s Right in Front of You

Joining the ranks with other creatives, I am joining Folk Magazine’s Community Journal Challenge.  They give a prompt, and the community responds each week on their blog.
I would love for you to join me in the comments about what inspires you, or if you have your own blog, join the challenge! The topic of discussion this week:
There is something about a drive that can be overwhelming to the senses and be so peaceful and healing at the same time.  Don’t you think? I live in what I call rural suburbia because I live in the only subdivision for miles, and we are surrounded by farm land.  So, when I exit my neighborhood and head north, I see the scene of open fields and blue skies, I can’t help but hear my Maker speak through His creation.
My heart gets overwhelmed by this picture.  Every time I drive it, I feel like I just have to savor it with a picture so others because this is too glorious to keep to myself.
This is a half mile up the road, and as you can tell, the sky and land still fill the horizon.  This is my boys a few years ago.  Everything about this gives me joy.  My boys, the green, the hay, the land bearing this feast for the eyes as well as sustenance.  My heart is full.
Fast forward a few years.  You will find majesty across the field from where this picture of my boys was taken.
I am getting a warm fuzzy from looking at this beautiful buffalo.  I just wish he was the snuggling type because LOOK at that beautiful brown coat!!!
The surroundings of our community have heavily influenced my decor and creative style.  The green is the dominant force in all three pictures and it brings me to peace.
This is why my headboard has been slathered in a bright green.  It’s even okay with me that this headboard is sitting against the wall, not even attached to my bed yet BECAUSE I have a piece of these fields serenity in my bedroom. I am also inspired by Anthropologie, and if you just put a little brain power into it, you can do the Anthropologie look for less.  It’s not about re-creating the catalog anyways.  It’s about bringing a little of this with a little bit of that.  So Rule #1 is this (and it’s really the only rule besides don’t spend more than you can afford): realize that you can bring together things you love and create an even more appropriate look that is custom tailored for you.
There’s nobody in this world JUST LIKE YOU!
This is why I have decided not to include a pin board or a blog that makes glitter and rainbows shoot out of my girlie heart.  I have come to a realization that I spend too much time searching for inspiration when it’s right in front of me.  It’s not at all that you can skip the brainstorming.  Why would you want to when there’s a community out there with beautiful ideas and hearts that share so freely? This is a good thing! But visit people often, but don’t try to move in because it will be a good thing gone rotten.  I stop executing ideas when I get stuck in someone else’s dream, and I bet you do, too.
In fact, I get on the road to comparison, even though I created this comparison printable to remind me to stop, and I start to feel inadequate.  I feel like I am not equipped.  I have let myself run wild with thoughts of how my journey isn’t matching my vision, and I see people who I PERCEIVE are matching their potential, and I start to kill my anxiety.  I start to believe that know one will want to look at my blog when there’s _____.  I snuggle with the fear that I might not sell my labors of love because ______.  Then I hear an encouragement from a friend, or I see a scripture like this, and I get bowled over with reality.
Look at what I marked.  Perceives it the key! It’s apparently not a question to this Proverbs 31 Woman that she is crafty, and just before she is girding herself with her strength and strengthens her arms.  This woman is not lazy, nor does she lack passion.  Notice- it does NOT say “She girds herself with inspiration.” She has to spend more time working than she does looking around, admiring others.  Is it important to admire and appreciate others yes, but she is SERVICE MINDED.  She fulfills her purpose.
I can hear you beating on your screen begging for just one more example of what I mean by the inspiration being right in front of you.  Maybe you take a drive up your street and you don’t see the great outdoors.  You see a bunch of fast food chains and a convenience store.  Okay, then.  Find that place where your eyes go to get away from all that.  A place of local flavor.  It might literally be a local restaurant.
Like Twisted Root Burger Company.
Or it might be the Babe’s Chicken Dinner House where they do the hokey pokey and Southern fry it with a jukebox filled with old country.
This will be forever embedded in my mind.  The way we anxiously await a table and hop from one colorful seat to another.  And I want to squish the toddler right on those chubby-barely-a-toddler-hands.  Take pictures! Capture the moment.  You will see what inspires you, I promise.  It’s right there! Don’t miss it!
It might even be the touristy spot.
You’re in the heart of The Fort Worth Stockyards.  There’s a cattle drive that goes through everyday.  There’s Old West charm.  Look at the brick pavers that line the streets.  Look at the colors of this candid shot of Peyton on the horse machine.  The color of his eyes, skin, bright lips, and blonde hair, his shirt.  The texture of the brick, the denim, the glossiness of the horse.  The inspiration is there! Are you looking? Look again!
If we just choose color, look at the turquoise, the reds, the neutrals.  It just works together!
And separately as in here
and here.
Notice how my boys ended up in my inspiration pictures.  These are places where we made memories.  The elements in these photos are the essence of what’s inspiring to me.
So what inspires YOU?!?
Get your Howdy Honey fix here:

Learning to Walk: A Printable for Your Journey

Yesterday, I couldn’t wait to share a project.  It had been many weeks since I had posted.  To be honest, it had been many weeks since I was able to work.  I spent Christmas in bed with the flu, and one Foster after the other got knocked down.  After the most severe symptoms went away, we all had fatigue that lingered.  Just before Christmas, I received a phone call from Australia threatening legal action for a work I created.  It was just crazy.  There were a few other personal things that had my plate too full already.  Had I not been built up in scripture and prepared for the unraveling, I might have gone into a deep depression.

Perseverance Printable by


“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you encounter trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ” -James 1:2-4

Fast forward to yesterday.  Mornings are chaotic.  School starts at 7:45, and my kids are bears and totally disorderly.  The morning panic attack usually lasts past dropping them off.  My kids were climbing out of the car and running to the door after the bell rang, and when it was time for me to pull away, a mom and her son entered the crosswalk.

I noticed how she was fully dressed for anything (as opposed to me wearing what I slept in), her makeup was on, and she even flashed a beautiful smile at me.  A smile came over me.  What a breath of fresh air it was to see her enjoying the morning.

Up until this point, I had paid no attention to her son.  When I finally looked at him, I recognized him immediately.  He was Carter’s friend.  I watched in awe as he did something I hadn’t seen him do in the two years Carter’s known him- he was walking without a walker! It was miraculous! Tears poured out and I couldn’t contain my excitement for him.  He was happily making his way despite his staggering, laborious walk.  A walking miracle!

Every morning on the 15 minute drive to school, my kids and I go over a scripture.  We talk about what it means and the immediate life application.  This morning we talked about James verse and how we can choose Joy over our circumstances.  I excitedly recanted what happened yesterday morning, and I love Carter’s simple childlike response, “Yeah.  He’s learning to walk!”

This morning, as I was checking my Facebook feed, I saw another amazing sight from my middle school Sunday school teacher.  He was in a motorcycle accident just before Christmas that put him in critical condition.  I don’t know about you Honey, but sometimes the length of a journey set out before me has me emotionally paralyzed.  I want to learn to abandon that fear.  I want to be grateful for the journey because I want to be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  I’ll leave you with Raleigh’s words because they are inspiring.

Only 2 more months until I can put weight on my pelvis. “