Christmas 2013

I’m just going to warn you now that this one is a very picture heavy post.

This year Santa came early, the kids were kinda spoiled. It was very fun!
_MG_8118Here’s our nativity.  I got the figures at Time Out For Women a few years ago, they’re resin so very child friendly.  The boys and our nieces helped build the stable out of cardboard, felt, popsicle sticks, glue, and moss.  It only took us two or three years.
_MG_8129Here are the boys Christmas morning.  You get a clear picture here for who is a morning person, and who takes a few minutes to warm up. :)
_MG_8143Kevin and I found this adorable Monkey for Joey.  He’s been all over the place already.
_MG_8163Santa brought Aiden Legos!!
_MG_8169Michael and his long awaited (and worked for) pi.  His very first, and very own computer!!  He worked hard to help pay for this extravagance!  Go to for more info.
_MG_8182Joey opening a razor scooter from Santa!!  Thanks Santa!
_MG_8198Aiden was SO excited for new socks and underoos, also from Santa
_MG_8206Santa brought Joey a Raphael ninja turtle and matching blanket.  This one has been adored.
_MG_8226Michael opening a gift from Santa, a MINECRAFT shirt plus some bonuses!!  Lucky young man!
_MG_8315The other shirt in the above package from Santa.
_MG_8322Santa brought a lot of clothes this year!  Aiden got an Angry birds T-shirt.

We were very blessed this Christmas and had a lovely day! We’ve been spending Christmas break reading, playing, gaming, enjoying having Daddy home, and staying up late. We’re all pretty ready to get back into the routine but have really enjoyed this last couple of weeks.

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2013 in Review

I didn’t mail out a letter this year.  In the past it has been very important to me, and this year (as well as the last few) it’s just OK with me to not stress over.  I do hope to pick up the habit again in the future, it’s just not important right now.  Simple and low key while putting energy into what really matters has become the theme.

2013.  MUCH better than 2012.  What a quick whip around the sun it has been!  You could call this the year of games.  Not computer or console games, but tabletop games.  We’ve learned and enjoyed many games and spent hours around the table talking, giggling and working on sportsmanship.

In January our Joey turned 5.  Aiden was also baptized, and it was a chilly month.

The spring thawed slowly, and it had been a relatively dry winter, so as things thawed we were watchful, but we never had any issues.  By late May it was pretty clear that we were going to be OK, we had no flood risk, and we were probably heading into a heavy drought season.

Kevin and Michael celebrated their birthdays in May.  We kept thing simple and low key.  All Michael wanted was a Mineraft Creeper cake.  I gave it a go, but failed miserably.  It was a joke, but Michael was grateful for the effort and very sweet about it.  I guess I learned the importance for doing trial runs, but who really wants two batches of fondant?

June kicked off the last summer before everyone was in school full time.  My birthday was low key and quiet.  Just what I needed!  We had a good summer.  I suffered a few more migraines than normal which was frustrating.

The end of August marked the end of any preschoolers in our home.  Bittersweet!  Joey made it into the small all day kindergarten program.  This has been SUCH a blessing for our family.  Joey is a smart boy but he’s also stubborn, he refused to work on the things a child really should know before he starts Kindergarten, and so I was at a loss, but fairly confident that once he started Kindergarten that he’d begin to “get it” and see that his peers were trying and understand the absolute need to give it an honest effort.  I’m thrilled to share that he is excelling and he’s getting it.  His teachers have also given me some tools to compliment their teaching methods so I get to see his progress at home.

I adore all of the boys teachers.  They each have their strengths and personalities that are just perfect for my child in their class.

Once the boys were all in school, I was suddenly home alone for 6.5 hours a day.  I had planned on going back to school, and I still do, but the idea of picking up more student loans and fighting migraines while studying was daunting to say the least.  I kept feeling that I’d just put it off a little more and more, see how things were next month…  It just didn’t feel right quite yet.  At the same time Kevin had been dealing with increasing chronic pain in his joints.  He was getting weekly and sometimes bi-weekly blood tests along with his regular bi monthly injections, and at times weekly doctors appointments.  Something was wrong, but nobody could put a thumb on it.  He was put on what seemed like dozens of supplements.  He finally had to had to pull out the old cane just to walk.  It felt a little bit like the world was spinning out of control for both of us.

I was looking for a job, and everything I was interested in was just not hiring, or required working weekends.  No good.  At this time of turmoil and frustration, especially with Joey making one of the bigger transitions in his life, it was important to me to be able to be there for my children when they are home as much as humanly possible.  At the beginning of the school year I’d heard of some positions at the school that needed filling, as well as seeing some of my neighbors start the year as teachers aides, I didn’t apply immediately because I felt very unsteady and felt we needed to find a rhythm of how things would go, or if Joey could handle the all day program before making any moves.  By this point school had been is session about a month, and so I went to the kids principle and asked if anything was still available, there was nothing.  I offered to volunteer or come in for back up if ever needed.

About this time Kevin was finally diagnosed with Crohns related Arthritis.  We’re not sure why things have gotten better, but he’s off the cane and for the most part is doing pretty well again.

Aiden ended up breaking three bones in his foot on the bounce house at he school carnival in September.  It was a good thing I didn’t have a job and wasn’t in school yet as he ended up staying home from school for two weeks until he was steady on his foot again and able to walk on his cast.  On one of his first days back in school I went over to bring him home and the principle caught me and offered me a job.  At first I thought he was just asking me to volunteer, so I was shocked when my pay was discussed.  I began my job the next week as an aide, and have been loving it ever since.  This has been a good thing for all of us.  I finally have something meaningful and important outside of my family.  This is a first since my pregnancy with Michael.  This job is a blessing and has brought me so much joy!  I’m really happy to be there and contributing as well as in a position to communicate with my children’s teachers easily and casually.  Aiden’s foot ended up healing really well and he’s doing great.

Another milestone was reached this fall, Michael passed up Grandma and is nearly 5’5″ tall already!  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he passes me up by his next birthday.

At the beginning of December we celebrated Aiden’s 9th birthday we had funfettie cupcakes with orange frosting and red sprinkles.  We had a great Christmas.  We’ve enjoyed so much family time and just playing games and chilling together and are ready to go back to school next week.  What a quick year it’s been!!

We wish all of our friends and family the very best New Year ever!

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Bountiful Basket 11/9/2013

Here’s our Bountiful Basket today!  I covered all you might ever want to know in my last BB haul.

Conventional Basket $15, plus $2.50 handling fee
2 bundles spinach
1 head romaine
3 zucchini
8 oz. box of mushrooms
1 bundle of asparagus (barely visible behind the bananas)
2 tomatoes
1 small watermelon
9-10 bananas
10 apples
11 mandarins

Roots Pack $8.50
1 large yam
1 beet
5 russet potatoes
5 red potatoes (whoever packed my basket must have known we’re a family of 5)
1 yellow onion
1 bundle of green onions
1 lb. bag carrots
6 oz. bag radishes

_MG_8104Hope you enjoyed!

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Photo Blast!

We’re about due for one of these, it’s been quite a while now. :)

Here is the view in our yard.  Two mornings ago almost all the leaves on this tree fell as the morning sun came up, it was beautiful.


The very still creek.  The leafs are just sitting there, not rush at all.


Two of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known.  I am blessed that they call me Mom.


I was trying to snap a picture of Aiden behind Joey, but Joey was not going to have any of that nonsense.


Another blue eyed babe!  This one has a little red scruff.  He’s watching Michael work to learn to shuffle cards.


My Handsome Michael!  Daddy took this one.  He’s only barely 2 inches shorter than me now.  At this rate it will take a beat of a hummingbirds wing until I’m the shortest in our clan.


And here’s my Aiden.  Daddy also took this one.  I can’t get enough of their beautiful smiles.


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Catching up with an Old Friend.

In High School, when I first moved I made some new and very fun friends.  One of them was a foreign exchange student from Denmark.  She makes a point of coming to visit every once in a while.  I’m so glad for good old friends and staying in touch!  Her hubby wasn’t able to make it this year, but her sweet little girl was here, this was my first chance to meet her.


what a beautiful pair!  I don’t think her little one much liked Kevin snapping pictures of her though!


What a beautiful tiny doll, don’t you think?  She enjoyed the Crayons.


Both of us with all of our children.


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Halloween Review

It’s only a week late!  Our Halloween was nice, I spent the weekend before absolutely sick with a cold, on Monday I was OK, Tuesday I was better, and by Wednesday I was almost myself.  The world waits for no Mom.

Wednesday night we pulled out the costume trunk, my costume make-up, and FINALLY decided upon what to dress as.  Joey picked a dinosaur shirt and tail, Aiden an alien robe, and Michael a black cloak.

The next morning I scrambled to put the make-up on the way they desired.  After a quick search on Pinterest Joey and I picked a big toothy dinosaur grin.  Easy enough.  I had one last, nice, smooth, long lasting, black eyeliner.  I started with Joey and by the last line or two it needed sharpening and was a little pokey.  I finished his make-up and set the pencil on my bed while I pulled out my make-up to find a sharpener.  I heard something hit the way and fall behind my dresser…  It was my pencil!  Even thought I’d told Joey we were done he decided he wouldn’t give me a chance to scratch anymore with that evil pencil.  *facepalm* Grrr!

I quickly pulled out my next best black eyeliner for Aiden, a Wet n’ Wild eyeliner.  Anyone who knows much about make-up knows wet n’ wild is good, but it’s hard and waxy.  So I got Aiden situated, he told me he wanted big Alien eyes.  I started drawing on these eyes, and the pencil was just terrible…  I grabbed a lighter for the old “warm the pencil” trick, and Aiden freaked, he was sure I was going to put an either on fire, or scorching pencil on his face.  Of course, if you’ve ever tried this trick, you know, it takes very little heat to melt the pencil enough to use, but not enough to burn.  If it’s hot enough to burn you, it doesn’t look like anything you’d want near your face!!    I finally got him calmed down enough, started to draw again and it looked awful.  I grabbed an eyeshadow pallet and brushed on a fine layer of charcoal colored eye shadow to try and fill it in.

By this time it was almost time to go and I hadn’t even touched Michael yet.  He just wanted to look spooky, “like maybe a dark ghost.”  OK.  ?  I made his face super pale, and then we added dark circles around his eyes.  He was happy, and it was time to go.

The rest of Thursday was a mad house.  The entire day.  It was so fun.  In the morning the school hosts a Halloween parade for all the kiddies to show off their costumes.  This is the only Halloween parade that will feature all of my kiddos.  Fun!  I snapped a couple pics.


I ran to the store to grab a couple of things for dinner and bought fabric for the Halloween bags (30% off yay!).  I got home just long enough to get some lunch, quickly half sew some trick or treat bags (they never got lined or hemmed, which didn’t bug the kids, but it sure bothered me!), and then head off to work dressed as a witch (sorry, I didn’t get a picture).  I was able to get off work a few minutes early and see the last few minutes of Michael’s Class Halloween Party, I was going to help with the party, but then got my job, I love it, but was a little sad about missing the party.  The other room Mom pulled off a great party!

It was a BEAUTIFUL fall day!

_MG_7885 - Version 2
_MG_7878 - Version 2
_MG_7886 - Version 2 (1)

After school we took off straight for Dad’s work party.  Candy Candy Candy!!  It was fun seeing Uncle Rye there.  The boys each entered art into the competition and all received second and third prizes in their categories.

Daddy, dressed as a crew member from Star Trek, helping Joey with his bag._MG_7893Aiden the Alien while waiting for our turn.
_MG_7891Michael picking his prize for 3rd place.
_MG_7907Picking out a prize.
_MG_7894This is what I get when I say “Everyone look at me and smile!”  Thanks guys.  Haha.  To be fair, I was distracting them from the real fun.

Afterwards we rushed back home to our cities main street trick or treating.  I love this because it’s a safe place to walk, with police officers acting as crossing guards for most areas we’d need to cross the street, we got to visit many stores we didn’t even know where there, and see and talk to some of our local city candidates.  It was all well lit and clean.  Nothing too spooky, though there were some good little scares. :)

We went home and Kevin helped Joey with his homework, counting his candy.  We hurried and made our homemade pizzas on the bakery fresh crusts I’d bought from Kohlers, and while they were baking, Kevin took the kids to the usual dozen or so local homes.  They got home, and we ate, giggled for a little bit and went to bed.  All of us thoroughly exhausted but happy.

My sinuses were acting up a bit, but I thought I’d feel better in the morning, boy was I wrong.  The next morning I had a sinus triggered migraine.  Not fun.  I craved carbs, but not sugar, but by the time I got something made I was too queasy to eat anything.  I took a long hot shower which helped immensely, and when I got out I got a phone call asking if I could come into work early.  I was trilled to, I was doing just fine by then even thought I was very drained from the pain.  I did my job and came home and crashed.  I kept thinking I was doing much better, but I never really was.

By Monday I had no voice and a roaring painful throat, I couldn’t walk without feeling faint and was starting a horrible barking cough.  I messaged Kevin asking him to call my doctor for an appointment and he got me one for Tuesday morning.  I went in and was given a Z-pack.  I’m not thrilled about antibiotics, but that thing is amazing!  Unfortunately I couldn’t go to work Tuesday or Wednesday, but I get to go back today!  I’m very excited!  Here’s hoping Kevin shakes his milder cold, and that everyone else stays relatively healthy.

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Our Change in Diets, and Bountiful Basket

One of my goals for 2013 has been to feed my family more foods made from scratch, and healthier foods.  I can’t say the year has been an outrageous success, but there definitely has been a positive shift in the way we eat around here.  I’ve been working on changing my attitude towards cooking, including finding easier ways to get food on the table that don’t involve the car and my wallet.  We have definitely tried a lot of newer *to us* things and there have been some outright misses, as well as some glorious victories.

One serious help for us has been joining and participating in Bountiful Basket.  If you are not aware of how to participate a detailed description follows, if you are, feel free to skip ahead to the “~~~~~.”  On Monday or at the latest Tuesday before 10 PM you go online, find your closest delivery site and then order your basket, you always get a basket when you order, you are able choose to add $10 and get an organic basket instead with about half as much produce, but it’s organic.  If you want you can add some side treats at reasonable prices.  Sides include cases of seasonal produce (lemons, peaches, apples, pears, etc.), bread, granola, coconut oil, or packs of a grouping of stuff (we like those, examples to follow), things like that.

Your money then goes into a pool with all of the other contributions.  Then the coordinator volunteers get to work with farmers and distributors, and try to make every single penny stretch to the max, getting 4-6 fruits, and 4-6 veggies for every basket.  As you will see below, things that are small usually come in multiples, and things that are large or more expensive are singles.

Saturday morning, volunteers (including you every few times you participate) get to the site early, they unload a truck with dozens of cases of produce, and other packs, they set out the laundry baskets, and get to work sorting the food into the baskets, as fast and carefully as possible before people come for pick up.  After all the baskets are equal, any case ends are distributed as evenly as possible after the volunteers get the first pick of an extra item or two for their work.  The boxes from the cases are sent home to be recycled by participants.  All side packages are presorted.  When you volunteer you need to wear work clothes, bring some clean work gloves, and a water bottle.

Then you (the participant) show up with bags and boxes, and your order confirmation form, printed or digital.  The coordinator checks her forms, has people initial, signals to a volunteer how many baskets, and whatever else, you go and unload their baskets into the boxes or your bags, and off you go with your yummy fresh and healthy treats.

Right now baskets are $12.50 with a $2.50 handling fee (gas, truck driver, etc), so $15 flat for just one.  There is a $3 first time fee for the local coordinator to get some new baskets to keep at the site, you still need to bring your own container in case there are no left over case boxes.  I like to bring my light framed IKEA cart to help haul things back to my car.  Side items range from about $8-40, and are always competitively and reasonably priced.

The myth that kept me from ordering was that once I signed up I had to always order on A week or B week, every other weekend, every time.  You do NOT have to order every other week, if your first order was an A week, and you don’t need anything, or you went to the farmers market, or whatever, you don’t have to order on A week again, you can order on a B week if it happens to land on a B week when you know you’ll want produce.

One thing I really like is that I suddenly have all of this healthy stuff, I will try things I might not have (or at least get the kids to), and it’s nice to refresh out of the rut that we sometimes get into with family meals.


Finally, We’ve made it to this weeks order.  I know I’m long winded, thank you for making it through.  Today my basket looked like this.  2 heads of romaine, 1 bunch celery, 2 bundles of green onions, 2 green peppers, one pack of skinny asparagus, 1 package of snack tomatoes, one sweet potato/yam (yup, I don’t know the difference), 7 bananas, 3 grapefruits, 6 red pears, 7 tiny green apples, and 4 yellow apples.


This week I chose to buy the harvest pack for $15.  The description was “Harvest Pack – Hoping for assorted small pumpkins, mini and large Indian corn, tiger stripe squash and more.”  I was really hoping for some fun things for decorating, but also some for eating, things like butternut squash, spaghetti squash, or other winter squash varieties, but it just didn’t pan out this time.  However the two bigger pumpkins are probably pie pumpkins, so they should be great for baking or cooking, one of them has a damaged area where the stem got knocked off, so it’s going into the oven today.  Everything else will make cute decorations on the entry wall or our table.  2 pie pumpkins, 2 ears medium Indian corn, three ears mini Indian corn, and 7 various mini pumpkins.

oct_12bbharvestHere are some examples of things we’ve ordered in the past.

4 lb. Rubarb from 5/4/13 paid $6.75

Guacamole Pack- “Hoping for garlic, jalapeno, yellow onion, lime, lemon, avocado.” 5/4/13 paid $8.50May_4bbmexican

Juice Pack- “hoping for apples, chard, carrots, oranges, celery, beets, lemon, lime, ginger, parsley” 3/23/13 paid $8.00March_23bbjuice

Hostess Pack- “hoping for red potatoes, dill, avocado, yellow onion, rosemary, asparagus, watermelon, radish, sage, celery.” 3/23/13 paid $13.00march_23bbhostess

Basic Basket- 3/9/13 (first time)March_9BB

Basic Basket- probably 6/8/13June_8bb

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Facelift time.

Maybe I can put a little more effort into this now.  My family and I have different wants and needs now, but I thought this might be fun.  Some things will change all together, some will not be touched.

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Cute, right?!

Let me tell ya a little story.  I LOVE having all boys.  I love a lot, a lot, of things about it.  Even thought at times I’ve been vocal about wanting a daughter, I wouldn’t exchange any of my boisterous boys for anything.  Ever.  I’ve got that fierce kind of Mama love going.  We’re very blessed to have the exact sons we have.

However (which doesn’t negate my fierce protection of their feelings in any way) sometimes I just wish there was a little femininity in my world.  Someone to play make-up, enjoy frilly stuff, go window shopping with for hours, to teach about cooking (OK, my boys will be good cooks), and maybe enjoy pretty things that I like.  Someone to look forward to passing things to and helping her plan her life.  I’ve come to grips that this will never happen.  That’s OK.  I have friends, I have other women and girls in my family, and I hope that if I teach my boys, and show them the right kind of girl to look for (kind, helpful, strong minded ;), cheerful, spiritually, and emotionally grounded, etc.) that my boys will pick wives that I can grow great relationships with.  Oh boy, I just got way off track.

So one of these feminine things I want?  Nice dinners every once in a while.  You know, with real cloth napkins and matching stuff, and maybe even a serving dish or two on the table instead of serving up at the stove, or bringing the pots and pans to the table…  I don’t need any more linens, and we actually use our wedding china a couple times a week.  It was super inexpensive, and I just decided that we should go for it instead of it taking up space and gathering dust, and so we do.  I’m not going to go overboard with finding stuff, cause frankly the budget is tight right now, but I do have a short list of *wants* that I’m keeping my eye out for.  One is a water pitcher, that is not made of plastic…  I think I’ll hold off for a while for that one though, sweet energetic boys and all.  I’d also like some nice glasses, but the last two sets are pretty much gone in the last few years and I’m tired of playing “find ALL of the shards,” again, it’ll just have to wait until everyone is really good at doing the dishes.  We do have two dollar store crystal goblets, and three matching mugs that we do use.  Another wishlist item is a gravy boat.  I had spent some time browsing Amazon, but nothing really stood out and was in the price range I was willing to go with.

Then comes Tuesday.  The day was my first day alone in more than two weeks, and I knew it would be my only chance for a while again to just spend time alone.  Hubby needed socks, and I’m researching for a new vacuum soon, so Target it was.  I can never resist the dollar section, and what caught my eye?  These cute little soup mugs, I was thinking I’d get one or two for my lunches.  I crouched down to look, and realized my cupboards can’t really handle anything that shape right now, but next to it was a smooth round orange gravy boat.  Ahh!  A gravy boat.  And $3!!  BUT it’s not a color I like at all, and would be very seasonal. :/  There were brown ones too, but it wouldn’t go with anything I own.  Then I saw it’s little yellow buddy, the yellow one was a bit dark for my normal taste in yellow, but it had a beautiful basket weave pattern.  I really wanted white.  But wait!  Behind it was a white one.  Yippee!

I put it and it’s matching platter into my cart and walked away.  I made it all the way back to socks and then it hit me.  Maybe I wanted the yellow one too after all, but could I really use two?  Did I really want two?  They were so cute together.  I’m so glad for technology.  I texted my friend Kristi, and she said at $3 she’d get it, and if I don’t use it in a year, just donate it.  Good advice!  So I went back and got it.  I know that I’ll use these platters until they’re done, gravy boat or not.  I was so happy with my little finds that I even had a little photo shoot on the pastel blue kiddy table, that only Joey sort of fits with anymore.  I’ll post about that table another day, I don’t think it will ever leave until it’s death. :)

_MG_7786 _MG_7794 _MG_7800 _MG_7805 _MG_7808 _MG_7810 _MG_7811

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Grandma Cake

This is in reply to a post over at That Old House by Cass.  That Old House is a blog about living in and enjoying an almost 200 year old home.  I was referred over there by Susan from Between Naps On The Porch, another fun and amazing blog about tablescaping (the art of setting a table beautifully and artfully), decorating, and general fun.  I found her blog a few years ago because of a beautiful beach theme table top that she posted on a decorating website.  Before I knew it it was Thanksgiving time and I wanted a “really fancy and formal” dinner table.  I emailed Susan and she was more than helpful and encouraging to this beginner.  At the same website that I found Susan and her blog, I also found Lisa at The Dilletante Proprietor.  Oh my heavens.  She’s so fun!  She bought a old little shack for $600 total at a state auction, and then painstakingly restored it all.  If you get a chance, read it oldest to newest, and there’s an amazing surprise waiting for you in the most recent few posts.  She’s now moved on to different things in her life, but the read was so fun.  I was sick for a few days and read it all like a novel.  I’d recommend reading any of these blogs to someone on bedrest, sick, or just wrapping up on a cool fall or winter night.

Oh Kaylene, lets get back on track shall we?  Here is a link to the Grandma Cake post and recipe.

Basically it’s a family recipe passed down by her Norwegian Grandma.  We have a few Norwegian ancestors, but no recipes from that branch of the tree as far as I know, so this recipe held particular interest for me.  Yesterday, Sunday, I thought it would be a perfect chance to give it a try.

The recipe was handed down from grandma, to daughter-in-law, the mother of the blogger was the only daughter-in-law approved of enough to get the recipe.  Cass thought it was lost forever until her sister found it in their mothers recipe box.  While looking at the way the recipe is written it’s not hard to guess that either the daughter-in-law was an avid baker and didn’t need to write down all of the instructions, or mother-in-law didn’t give her that information so that she’d never be able to make it “just like Grandma did.”

So here’s the recipe as shared-


3 cups flour (unbleached)
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. mace
a pinch of salt
1 cup butter (no margarine; Grandma will rise up and smite you!)
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla

Mix all the above thoroughly and beat at high speed for 3 to 4 minutes. (Note: If you are using a high speed mixer, like a Kitchen Aid, cut back on the mixing a bit.)

Bake at 350 for approx. 1 hour.

(It’s not written down, because you are clearly just supposed to know that the cake batter goes into a greased bundt or tube pan before you put it in the oven!)

This is not a fine-grained pound cake; it has a rather coarse crumb, and the outside gets quite dark and caramelized looking and as the cake ages a day or two the “crust” gets a bit of a crunch to it. Oh my. I may have to bake this. I don’t bake anymore because Howard and I aren’t eating sugary things. I may have to make an exception. Please let me know if you try it! — Cass

Other than the sugar I sifted together the dry ingredients and set them aside.  I don’t keep mace, so I substituted with freshly ground black pepper, though after a little research I’m learning nutmeg would have been a more appropriate substitution.  This was the only substitution I had to make as I keep unbleached flour as our staple flour instead of all purpose.  I creamed the sugar and butter together.  Then I added the milk, vanilla, and eggs just until incorporated.  I added the dry ingredients 1/3 at a time and mixed just until blended, since this was in my mixer I beat at high for about 1 1/2 minutes. I snitched a taste of the batter and it was delicious.  I spooned the heavy, almost cookie dough like batter into my heavily buttered bundt.  Next time I’ll give it a few taps to get more of the giant bubbles out of what will become the top of the cake.  I baked at 350 for 55 minutes, which was about 3-5 minutes too long as I realized later (I’m at about 4,500 ft above sea level).  After gently going around the edges with the back of a butter knife (don’t want to scratch up my pretty pink bundt pan!), it popped out of the pan beautifully with only one crumby sticky spot which was remedied easily enough.

Please excuse the bad iPad image.

Compared with modern cake mixes or store bought cakes, this cake was a little dry, not nearly as sweet, and much more like a pound cake.  Last night one of the boys said it was like sweet bread more than cake.  Another commented, “Like a cookie on the outside, and bread on the inside.”  I’m delighted that our kids love to think about and talk about what they eat instead of just inhaling it on the way to the next distraction.  I chose entirely the wrong glaze (2 c. powdered sugar, 2 1/2 Tbsp. milk, 1/4 c. melted butter and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, it would have been way too thick if I hadn’t put it on a still warm cake), and added too much vanilla, so it detracted completely from the cake.  The glaze was too thick and sweet, so in contrast the cake seemed dry, and unsweetened, however when we were careful to take a drink of water and then eat just the cake it was very nice on it’s own.

Please excuse the bad iPad image.

My family agrees with Cass, it’s definitely better the second day.  I think the unglazed cake with some wassail, hot tea, or hot cocoa would be amazing, or it would be so good drenched in milk, for the people who like their cake that way.  I’ll add another pinch of salt and a little more sugar to the batter next time.  And no glaze.  Unless maybe it’s just plain melted chocolate, but then my chocolate allergic hubby misses out.  Yes, no glaze or topping again, well maybe just a light “snow” of powdered sugar.  It’s absolutely on the short list to make again.

Oh, and a little funny from the boys.  When I told them I was making “Grandma Cake” they thought it was to take to a Grandma.  They explained it MUST be a cake that you take to a Grandma as that is it’s name!  I explained it was a recipe from somebodies grandma, not one of ours.  They were still pretty excited about it.  Cass I hope you don’t mind if we call this “Old Fashioned Norwegian Cake” in our house from now on, but it’s entirely possible that the kids will call it “Grandma Cake” regardless.

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