Day 1487 | Attack

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Chase played a new game at school yesterday and was so enamored with it that he wanted to recreate it when he got home from school today. We modified our Jenga game by coloring the pieces to make different blocks. It turns out it was probably made up by some other kid in his class because the rules are crazy and seem fleeting at best. I lasted about five minutes playing this game—which involves trying to destroy each other’s houses with cars, cannons, and helicopters. The boys, however, played it for over an hour. No lie. 

I might not get it, but they certainly do.  

Day 1484 | The Spy Hideout

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After about five days, three family members helping (in addition to Chris), and no less than 20 trips to procure supplies, our backyard “Spy Hideout” (as the boys have named it) is complete. We are beyond grateful to Brian for leading the charge on the construction and thankful for the help of my dad and Matt. Chris has wanted to tackle this project for a long time and he couldn’t have done it without all the help. Thank you for making this dream a reality for him. And, as you might imagine, the boys are *just a bit* excited. 

Day 1481 | Early Morning Walks

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Our bus stop is a short two blocks from our house. At first, I wasn’t super excited about the jaunt (one more thing to add to a rushed morning, you know?), but it’s actually really lovely. I haven’t been out in the morning sun and the crisp fall air without being totally rushed in a long time. Maybe ever. For those few minutes we’re waiting for the bus every morning, the boys and I have nowhere to be and I don’t have my to do list bearing down on me. I enjoy the sunshine on my face and the excitement emanating from the boys as they await their ride to school. 

Talk to me again about this “lovely morning wait” in the dead of winter and I might not be as enthusiastic. But, for now, I’ll enjoy every second.  

Day 1472 | Battleship

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We’ve had a big project going on in our backyard over the past few days (I’ll wait for the final product for the big reveal), so the boys and I have had to find things to keep us busy. 

As a way to fill time, we did some treasure-hunting at two local thrift stores. I’m not going to lie, we found some great stuff: a few toys and two board games. I’m not kidding you, these items have consumed practically every moment of the boys’ attention since their purchase. Best $14 I’ve ever spent. 

One side note: the game of Battleship takes forever.  

Day 1471 | This is Determination

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Chase tried for about 30 minutes straight to get across these circular, rotating monkey bars at a local park. I couldn’t believe his level of determination.  

After trying for so long, he started to get a bit tired and frustrated and needed to take a break. Once we decided to head home, Chase declared he was going to try one more time...and he did it! Kudos to this guy for not giving up! 

Day 1470 | Brownie M&M Cookies

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I really like making cookies. What I don't like is how many of these cookies I end up consuming. Therefore, I rarely make cookies. In fact, I can't even remember the last time I did. 

Luckily, since we're living the week of extravagance leading up to school starting, I decided to be crazy and let the boys pick out a new cookie recipe to try. And it's a good one. We found a solid brownie cookie recipe and then decided to kick it up a notch by adding M&M's. Chase even did all the ingredient collecting and most of the mixing (even cracking his first egg...all over his hand, but still!). 

They are super delicious. No doubt about it.

BROWNIE M&M COOKIES

Ingredients:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips 60-70% cacao
1/2 cup butter
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder not Dutch-processed
1/2 cup mini M&M's

Directions:

  • Melt bittersweet chocolate chips and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until melted and well-combined. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugars, vanilla, baking powder, and salt on high speed 5 minutes, or until the batter is thick and creamy. This step is key, so make sure to beat the mixture for the full 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the speed to low, and mix in the melted chocolate until well-combined.
  • Stir in flour and cocoa powder just until combined.
  • Add mini M&M's (saving some for sprinkling on top). Stir in to combine. The batter should be the consistency of a thick brownie batter at this point. Cover the batter, and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Drop batter by rounded 1.5 tablespoon-full onto the prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and sprinkle with remaining M&M’s, about 7 or so per cookie (push them in a bit so they stay put). 
  • Bake cookies 8-10 minutes. The cookie will look set at the edges but still be a little wet looking in the center. Don't overbake, or the cookies won't be crackly and fudgy. The shiny, crackly crust will develop as the cookies cool on the baking sheet.

Modified from this recipe.