Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Weeks 34 and 35

Week 34:
This week was all about getting ready for school.  Jim was busy with teacher in-service and the back-to-school faculty picnic this week.  Maddie loved playing on the playground after she ate her hot dog at the picnic.
Jim grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken, and everyone brought a dish to share.
It was a fun evening.
I parked my van on the street in front of our house after the picnic because Jim's car was drying out in the garage, and we wanted to keep the borrowed car in the garage as well.  When I went out the next morning, I found that our van had been broken into during the night.  The thieves had torn out the ignition in an unsuccessful attempt to start the van with a screwdriver and steal it.
They used this big rock to jam a screwdriver into the door lock, break the lock, and get into the van.  They left me the rock as a gift, I guess.  I found that my Ipod was missing, but everything else seemed to be fine.  I had to call the police, and when the officer arrived, he told me that vans like ours were being targeted in our neighborhood.  He wrote up a report, and then, since the van wouldn't start (no ignition), we had to file an insurance claim and have the van towed to a collision shop for repairs.
We had our second vehicle towed away that week, making us even more grateful for the borrowed car!  The tow truck driver started the van with a screwdriver (perhaps the thieves should get lessons from him!), and loaded it up on the truck.  The tow truck driver told me that our type of van is the most stolen vehicle - who would have thought that it would be so popular!?  Thankfully, the van was all fixed a few days later, and not only did the collision shop waive our deductible, but they even painted over a few rusty spots.  Our van was even better than it had been before!
This week was during the big ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and both Jim and Drew were challenged to participate.
Drew surprised us by being very brave and did the challenge.  Jim did his a few days later.
Our school had a Meet the Teacher afternoon, and Drew got to go see his classroom and get his supplies moved into his desk.
He was excited to see some friends again and get ready for a new year to begin!
Here's what I did for Week 34.  I added part of my police report from the van break-in on this layout.

Week 35:
Jim's sister, Sharon, came to church with us, and we went out for lunch at Chili's after church.
School started on Tuesday morning.  Maddie walked around with Jim while I took pictures for the school newsletter.
Drew was very excited to start second grade!

His teacher is very nice, and we are happy that he is in her class this year.

The first week of school ended a little crazily with a lock down and police cars and helicopters all around the school on Thursday afternoon because of an armed robbery attempt at a nearby bank.  One thief was shot and killed, but the other fled the scene.  The school had to be locked down because of the fugitive in the area.  Thankfully, everyone at school was safe, and all was fine.
The boys went golfing early Saturday morning,
and they brought donuts home with them for breakfast.
I had a garage sale on Friday and Saturday.  Maddie was my helper.  We were able to make about $200 and get rid of some stuff, so we were happy about that!
Here's what I did for Week 35.  I included part of my garage sale permit on this week's layout!
Here are Weeks 34 and 35 together:
I am hoping to be back later this week to talk about potty training!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls

My parents came for a few days and spent Thanksgiving with us, and my mom brought us two jars of her homemade apple butter.  I had seen a recipe for Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls recently, and when my mom gave us the apple butter, I knew just what to make for our breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.  
I ended up combining three different recipes to make my cinnamon rolls, and they turned out to be delicious!
I used this dough recipe, which was delicious and very easy to work with.
I used this recipe, which was the original inspiration for adding apple butter to my cinnamon rolls, for the filling.
I used this recipe for the frosting.  This is my usual cinnamon roll recipe, and it is delicious!
I am combining all of the parts here for you (and for myself for next time).  Here's how I made them.

Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 T sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. rapid rise yeast
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 large egg

Place flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix.  In a microwave-safe bowl, heat water, milk, and butter until butter is melted and liquids are hot.  Add butter mixture to dry ingredients.  Add egg and mix with a dough hook for several minutes, until dough is smooth, elastic, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Extra flour might be necessary.  Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes.

2 T softened butter
1/2 cup apple butter
2 T ground cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle.  Spread the dough rectangle with butter and then with apple butter.  Mix cinnamon and brown sugar, and sprinkle the mixture over the apple butter.  Starting on the long end closest to you, roll the dough tightly away from you.  Cut the roll into 12 equal slices (I like to use dental floss to cut mine).  Place slices in a greased 9x13 inch dish.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size.  I let mine rise overnight in the refrigerator, and it worked well.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes and until the tops are lightly browned.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and top with frosting.

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

Mix frosting ingredients until smooth and spread on top of rolls.

We all loved these rolls, and I am looking forward to making them again soon.  I really loved putting them together the night before, letting them rise in the fridge, and then baking them in the morning for hot, fresh cinnamon rolls that didn't require much work in the morning.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!