Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pies, pies and more pies!

In preparation for our annual Turkey Feast, Eryn, Brad and I baked some pies today. I hope they taste as good as they look!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Friends came over last night for Papa Murphy's Jack-O-Lantern pizza, pumpkin carving and "The Office". I opened the door, and these super-cute trick-or-treaters greeted me:
It was a really nice surprise! Good thing I had candy at the ready :)

Oatmeal-caramel bars

Another good find on (and I stole the pic from there, too!).


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces(I had white chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 30 vanilla caramels (8 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons milk


1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar. Beat until well combined. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda. Beat mixture until combined. Beat or stir in the flour. Stir in the oats.

2. Press two-thirds (about 3 1/3 cups) of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces and nuts.

3. In a medium saucepan combine caramels and milk. Cook over low heat until caramels are melted. Drizzle caramel mixture over chocolate and nuts. Drop remaining one-third of the oat mixture by teaspoons over the top.

4. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until top is light brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 60 bars


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Extraction party '09

Sunday was the annual Rathkey/Goodfellow extraction party... where we extract cider from apples and honey from combs. It was a great time with good friends, good food and good fun! Some highlights:

Cutting off the wax plugs before the frames go into the centrifuge:

Inside, some decorated sugar cookies:

Of course, we had to take a break to eat!!!

After laboring, feasting, chatting and laughing, we came home with 6 pints of fresh honey and 6 quarts of fresh apple cider. YUM! I can't wait for next year :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mini family reunion

Brad's Uncle Stan is visiting from North Carolina, so we all gathered in Newberg to catch up and to celebrate Grandpa Gene's birthday. We had some gifts and cards in Barb and Gene's apartment before heading downstairs to eat. Gene's sporting a spiffy new birthday ensemble from Aunt Lou:
We met up with more family in the lobby. Can you tell Steve (left) and Stan (right) are brothers?!? Their mannerisms are SO similar that it's truly creepy. They were goofing off - notice the same sideways smirk?
What a nice picture with cousin Deborah!
Me taking a picture of Stan taking a picture of me taking a picture :)
That's one big pumpkin!
Met another cousin, Elena...
Cousin Phil made the trip up from Eugene...
Friendsview has REALLY GOOD food. I enjoyed a big plate of mashed potatoes and gravy...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Holiday tunes

I have personal rules about listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.... but I have no problem playing it! Last night, Mauri handed out the first piece of music for our Dec. 8 and Christmas Eve handbell performances. I was so excited! Soon, we'll have folders full of fun songs. YAY!


Think pink

KOIN covered the story too and sent a reporter to Friday's game. You should see all the pink! And Eryn, Mom, Brad and I all made a brief appearance in the story :) Check it out!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Some things are bigger than football....

I ran this year's Race for the Cure for Stephanie, the wife of my friend, Jay Butz. The Tigard High School football team has been rallying all season around the family. Check out this awesome story done by KATU.


Plant sale!

I stumbled on a half-off plant sale at Home Depot in Tigard and wanted to alert all my gardening friends.

I was browsing Thursday morning while a nursery worker was rearranging plants. I asked a question and he told me that a bunch of them were about to go on sale for half price! If you're familiar with Home Depot plants, the sale items are from Hines Nursery, with the bright orange stickers on the pots. I don't know if other stores are affected, but I assume so... since it was everything from that specific grower.

I also looked through the clearance racks and picked up a bunch of hostas for $1 each!

Hurry before they're all gone :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You know you're an Oregonian if....

Krissi Carson posted this on Facebook and I just love it. Had to share.......

1. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.
2. You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.

3. You often switch from "heat" to "a/c" in the same day.

4. You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.

5. You buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time.
6. You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it's not a real mountain.

7. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, Yakima and Willamette.

8. You are not fazed by "Today's forecast: showers followed by rain," and "Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers."

9. You use the statement "sun break" and know what it means.
10. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.

11. You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.

12. You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" Signal.

13. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Veneto's.

14. You consider swimming an indoor sport.

15. In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark while only working eight-hour days.

16. You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.

17. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon.

18. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.

19. You know that Boring is a place and not just a state of mind.

20. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.

21. You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.

22. You notice, "The mountain is out" when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.

23. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.

24. You measure distance in hours.

25. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.

26. You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Raining (Spring), Road Construction (Summer), Deer & Elk season (Fall).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."

Colossians 3:23 NLT

Monday, October 19, 2009

Creamy caramel-pecan rolls

What's better than spending a lazy weekend at home during a fall storm? How about eating this for breakfast:
We decided to start our stay-home weekend with these lovely homemade rolls from They were VERY tasty, but we decided that this recipe was a bit better.


  • 1-1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 16-ounce loaves frozen white bread dough or sweet roll dough, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup raisins (optional)


1. Grease two 9 x 1-1/2-inch round baking pans; set pans aside. For topping, in a small bowl stir together powdered sugar and whipping cream; divide evenly between prepared baking pans. Sprinkle pecans evenly over sugar mixture.

2. In another small bowl stir together brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll each loaf of dough into a 12x8-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture. If desired, sprinkle with raisins.

3. Roll up each rectangle starting from a long side. Seal seams. Slice each roll into 12 pieces. Place, cut sides down, on topping in pans.

4. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double (about 30 minutes). Break any surface bubbles with a greased toothpick.

5. Bake in a 375 degree f oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown (if necessary, cover rolls with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Carefully invert rolls onto a serving platter. Serve warm. Makes 24 rolls.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Russian tea cakes

We held a beautiful tea party for Laura, who is about to have her first child. I was on the food committee and chose to make egg salad sandwiches and Russian tea cakes. I found this simple recipe on and made a batch for the shower. They were so yummy that I ate many more than I should have :)

1 c butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar

1 t vanilla

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

3/4 c finely chopped nuts

1/4 t salt

powdered sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix butter, 1/2 c powdered sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together.

Shape into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet and cool slightly on wire rack.

Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Upside-down one-bowl apple cake

I love making yummy treats for my friends. This recipe looked simple and super yummy, so I gave it a try for our Wednesday study group. It went together quickly, though you have to cook it in a couple stages, and was very good. I would make this again. (BTW, that's the photo - not my creation. I forgot to take a picture)


  • 1/3 cup butter, cut up
  • 6 very small red cooking apples (I couldn't find tiny apples so I used 4.5 medium-sized fruit)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I do not like ginger, so I used less than 1 t)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cinnamon or vanilla ice cream (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the 1/3 cup butter in a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Place in oven about 5 minutes or until butter is melted. Halve apples; remove stems. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out apple cores.

2. Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter; stir to combine. Spread evenly over bottom of pan. Arrange nine of the apple halves, cut sides down, in butter mixture. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until butter mixture is bubbly.

3. Meanwhile, peel and coarsely shred the remaining three apple halves; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, and cinnamon. Add shredded apple, milk, the 1/4 cup softened butter, the egg, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Gently spoon batter over apple halves in pan, spreading evenly (some apple may still be exposed and some butter mixture may come to the surface).

4. Bake about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

5. Using a sharp knife or narrow metal spatula, loosen edges of cake from sides of baking pan. Carefully invert onto a serving platter. Spoon any butter mixture remaining in pan onto cake. Cool for 20 minutes more. Serve warm. If desired, serve cake with ice cream. Makes 9 servings.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


I just noticed some mice poops around the printer in my classroom. Upon further investigation, I realized that mice are or have been nesting in the bottom paper tray of my HP LaserJet 4000. Yuck.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Highway cleanup is speedy with 35 people!

Because of my new assignment at THS, I missed out on the first CE2 field trip of the year. But honestly, I am not too bummed.

In the spring, we adopted a 2-mile section of Highway 99 in Tigard. But because school had just ended, only three students (and my mom!) helped with our first clean-up project. So it took 6.5 hours! The entire class went earlier this month to again rid the highway of trash. And it only took 2 hours. Still, I'm glad I didn't have to go :) They took pictures so I wouldn't miss out...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Homecoming '09

Sue's awesome VW Bus wasn't available for this year's CE2 parade entry, so we procured the marching band's trailer and four wheeler to make a jungle-themed float for Homecoming '09.
Check out the face paint! We have some amazing artists in the group. (Click to make the pictures bigger)
Eryn helped us out - she's a wonderful assistant! Unfortunately for her, I am not a great artist. Our paint wasn't as cool as the other CE2ers.
The weather was perfect, and we had a great time waving to the crowd and handing out candy to the little ones.
Afterward we celebrated a job well done with pizza and pop and a big football win. GO TIGERS!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Opal Creek (10/4/09)

Because we're usually looking for maximum elevation gain, we've missed out on many popular area hikes, like Opal Creek off Highway 22 east of Salem. Brad mentioned that he was interested in checking it out, and Michael said he'd been wanting to go, too. So we made a date to go the first weekend of October to check out fall colors. Michael and Kendra brought the whole fam.
The leaves were starting to change and the temps were low, making it a very fallish day!

What's Brad looking at?
A beautiful waterfall!

We took our time, taking in all the sights along the 3.5-mile gravel road. At the end, we picnicked at Jawbone Flats, a Depression-area mining camp. You can rent cabins at the camp... we may come back and do that sometime! Click HERE to read more about it.

Opal Pool was a short walk from the camp. We stopped to admire the view before heading back.
Brad and I returned on the narrow trail on the other side of the creek while the rest of the group opted for the stroller-friendly road.

It was a beautiful hike and fairly close to town. I can see why it's so popular!