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Friday, August 24, 2012

Stress Relieving Cookies

Sigh.  Another day without getting our cable letter email.  I need to bake.  Lucky for me, Harrison's track team is having a bake sale tomorrow so I can bake without gaining the customary 5 lbs.  Gaining weight is not stress-relieving.  Although, I'm not sure it matters.  These days all I have to do is smell sugar and I gain a pound.  Did I say these were "stress relieving" cookies?  I don't sound like I have been relieved yet.  I need to stop whining.
These are my favorite cookies in the world!  They are one of  my Grandma Denman's recipes.  I'm not sure if the reason I love them so much is that I remember baking cookies at her house on Wednesday afternoons, or how she ALWAYS had homemade cookies in the cookie jar at her house (yes, she actually had a real cookie jar), or if I just love these cookies.  You guys can be the judge.  If you love them, it must be the taste and not just the memories.

Here is the recipe...decide for yourselves :-)

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 

3/4 cup sugar
   1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening (OR yummy butter but it makes the cookies thinner and crispier...also delicious)
   2 eggs
   1 tsp vanilla (I like to overflow the tsp)
   2 cups flour
   1 tsp baking soda   
1/2 tsp salt
   2 cups oatmeal
   1 cup unsweetened coconut

A little milk to make the right consistency.  (This is literally what my Grandma's recipe said.)  But, to be a little more clear, I think the "right" consistency uses about 2-3 Tbsp of milk.  I actually forgot to check, I usually just slosh a little in there from the carton.  You want the consistency to be like chocolate chip cookies.

Cream the sugars and shortening or butter together in your mixer bowl then add the eggs and vanilla and blend.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add a little flour mixture at a time to the sugar/shortening mixture and blend until it is all combined.  Add the oatmeal and coconut and mix it in.  Now add your milk.
I like to use my smallish scooper to drop my cookies.  It makes the perfect size cookie.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  

Leave cookies on the cookie stone for a few minutes and let them START to cool before you move them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

If you know what's good for you, bag most of them up and give them away or something.  If you are anything like me, you have already eaten more than you should between the dough and sampling every batch to make sure they are fit to eat ;-)

Maybe I will be back on here next week with good news about adoption progress.  This last little bit is excruciating to wait!  We still expect to travel sometime in Sept/Oct.  As soon as we get updated pics and info, I will blog again.  OR, I will send pics from China in a few weeks ;-)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Monday this week we received the Letters of Acceptance (or Approval, not sure which word is correct) for our two boys in China!  I guess I knew this was coming at some point, but it hit me kind of hard.  I was numb for most of the day, I think.  But when DW got home and we started talking about it, I kind of lost it.  I started crying and couldn't stop for awhile.  I guess the dam broke and the tears (of relief) flowed.  I didn't even realize I had been "stressed" over waiting for it.  I think I knew I was on a pretty thin line, veering over it some days into happiness and content and then back over the other side some days into a little bit of depression and impatience.  Everyone else in my family could probably tell you that THEY knew I was stressed, hehehe.

I am past the numbness now and moved on to excitement!  Our I-800 paperwork is gone, and we are expecting approval in 3 weeks or so.  We are praying for all things to go as quickly as possible from here on out BECAUSE, if we don't get to China in September, we will be looking at tripled hotel expenses for October because of Trade Fair in Guangzhou the 3rd week of Oct.  And did I mention the first week of Oct is a holiday week?  I can't make any of this work out right, but I know God has already figured it out so I will just leave Him to it and go with the flow.

We met with our social worker yesterday and realized that we have to come up with an additional $10K (ish) for expenses for our 2nd boy.  Geesh.  Just when I thought we had about 1/2 of what we needed to travel... I knew of this number, because I remember running across it while we were applying for grants and such a few months ago.  But, for some reason I dismissed it in my mind thinking that WE were capable of being much more frugal than that when we travel and we would not spend that much.  The number is mostly due to 2nd orphanage donation and visa and other paperwork, not so much hotel and food expenses (duh).    Either way, it will come, somehow.  I am peaceful about it.  As one of my friends said yesterday, "Well, it is not time to travel yet, so the $$ is not here yet."  So refreshingly simple.

Today this song popped into my head.  It pretty much captures my heart right now, and hopefully always.