Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thankfulness Thursday--Growing up in a small town and school sports

Today I am not blogging about our farm, or even the town I now call home, at least not mainly...........Today I am going to share with you what was a big part of my growing up years and that was playing school sports. I grew up in a town of 1,000 people, our school was a small one. We had enough kids to make up a Varsity and JV soft/baseball team and basketball teams, but no where near the size to play the game my boys love, football and for track, the only time we ran on an actual track was at meets, somewhere else, but you know I never felt deprived, not once.
I was a Sturgeon Bulldog!
I played Basketball throughout Jr. High (that's what we called middle school) and High School. I wasn't a super star, but I didn't care, I was on the team and got to play. And that's what mattered. I loved softball from the time I was big enough to swing at pitches my Uncle Hank tossed to me through the growing up years and past high school when I played on slow pitch adult teams. This was a close as I could get to my true love baseball, that love was fostered by a Grandmother who missed very few Cardinal games, did we go you ask? Nope, we listened to Jack Buck on KMOX call the games. That is a constant in practically every summer memory I have of my Grandma Angle.

I proudly wore that blue jersey!
I still love to watch my own kids play ball in the yard and join them when I can. My kiddos don't play summer league soft/baseball, as they have another summer love, which is showing cattle. When I think back to summers growing up, I can remember many a game that was played at the ball field in town. It didn't matter if there were 2 or 3 kids there, or 15, boys or girls, again didn't matter. We played till everyone got tired or had to get home. Such a different world than the ones my kids know.

I sit back and think of moments in games, and then try to remember, who won that game, most of the time I can't remember that, mostly I remember the fun and friendships carved with people I would know and interact with a varying levels the rest of my life. I learned that team means everyone. I learned to work hard and try your best.

When our own kids were getting big enough to start consider letting them be involved with organized sports, for me it wasn't even a question. They have been, maybe not the sports I personally played. But they have enjoyed being part of a team. They are wrestlers, football players, and golfers. Jenna looks forward to a time when she can try out volleyball.

They are making great memories with kids who will be their lifelong friends, learning great lessons from other adults and enjoying the ride. For that I am very thankful. It's something you never forget. When seasons end and teammates change there's a bittersweet moment. But the memories of that special time will live in your heart forever.

Recently, actually YESTERDAY, the baseball boys from my home town won 3rd in State. Did I go to the game or follow them throughout the season? No, not in person. I enjoyed every single picture that my friends posted on facebook. See those are the people I grew up and they remain my friends today. They proudly shared their sons' accomplishments and it gave me a chance to relive the 'Glory Days' a little and offer them some praise myself. A friend posted on one of the players walls, 'you boys make every person, past and present, who wore the blue and white jerseys, very proud' He was totally right, I am sure am proud of those boys!

Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog, way to go boys, we are all so proud of you,

From Tulip~



What's for Dinner Wednesdays--Gooey Butter Cookies AKA Cake Mix Cookies

I guess when I am sharing a cookie recipe, I should probably call this What's for Dessert Wednesday? LOL The recipe I am going to share today is definitely a "6 Star" recipe. Everyone in my household LOVES these cookies. In fact I am not sure I have ever served/shared them with anyone who does not like them. This is the recipe that my boys both requested (along with homemade ice cream) for the dessert at their graduation party INSTEAD of a cake.

While this recipe is wildly popular, that's not even the reason I like to make these cookies. I like to make these cookies because its one of the simplest recipes I have, with the fewest ingredients, that are all likely ones I have on hand at all times.

Here are the ingredients: A cake mix, a brick of cream cheese, a stick of butter, an egg, and a little vanilla. Plus you will need some powdered sugar to roll the cookies in before baking.

Let the cream cheese and butter soften. Add them to the cake mix, egg and vanilla. I generally use a pastry cutter to mix these up. I have been known to throw the ingredients into a gallon zip lock bag and hand to a kid to mix up. Once the ingredients are well combined. Refrigerate to cool the dough, I have done this as short of a time as 30 minutes or as long as 2 or 3 days. Make sure you've covered the dough while its in the fridge, so it doesn't dry out.

Roll chilled dough into balls, or use a cookie scoop or however you 'make' cookies. Roll in powdered sugar. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. I use a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

This recipe, using my medium Pampered Chef cookie scoop consistently makes 30 cookies.

Variations: I think when I originally saw this recipe, it called for a yellow cake mix. But I have made it with Red Velvet, Chocolate, Funfetti (Cody and Sam's favorite) and Lemon cake mixes. I don't think you can go wrong with any mix as long as the flavor is a favorite of your family.

These cookies are moist and simply wonderful. Try them soon.

You tell schools out and we are getting into our summer groove---will try to get back here more regularly than weekly--YIKES,

From Tulip~