Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I don't really feel like I have the words to sum up a life, everything I write will fall short. My friend Aimee passed away yesterday. She fought long and hard, but in the end, the cancer won.

You may remember that I wrote about her several years ago. Aimee was in her early 30's when she found out she had stage 4 breast cancer. I didn't understand it then, I still don't today. It seems so unfair, her life cut so short. Just as she should be celebrating her daughter graduating from Kindergarten she is making choices weather to keep fighting or keep comfortable.

I know when her husband Joe stood at the alter and said "Till' death do us part" he was assuming they would be old and gray, rocking in chairs and watching great grandbabies. And that is how it should be. Her husband was her biggest advocate, he has stepped up in every way, and now he is left to parent their kids by himself.

Our kids are the same ages. I remember watching our first borns learn to crawl. I remember being pregnant with our second babies while trying to keep up with our first. I remember sitting in the back yard nursing our new little ones while our girls, who seemed so big them, played on the swings. We talked of life and parenting and marriage. My heart is heavy knowing her kids memories of her will be after she was sick.

So today I will cry. I will morn a life that ended to soon, a husband who had to say goodbye and two children who won't get to snuggle with mommy any more. But Aimee love Jesus. So while my heart is heavy and my eyes are wet here on earth, I will turn to the Great Comforter and know that Aimee and I will one day sit and talk about life, parenting and marriage once again.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I buy bananas at Costco. I buy 6 lbs at a time. This sounds like, and is, a lot of bananas. Strangely enough, rarely do I have one go brown. If I do, the girls are thrilled because it means I will be making bread, muffins or this awesome cake. If you left the frosting off, you could call it breakfast. But if you leave the frosting off, we can't be friends any more. If you want to eat it for breakfast, I won't tell. I will be too busy hiding in the bathroom so my kids don't see me eating cake.

Peanut Butter Banana Sheet Cake

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 squished brown bananas
1 1/2 cup  brown sugar
2 cups flour (if GF use 1 c. brown rice, 1/2 c. oat and 1/2 c. sorgum with 2 tsp xanthan gum)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup butter
6 Tbsp cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 c. coco powder 
1 Tbsp vanilla

Sunday, July 29, 2012

All about a Penis

Once upon a time, long ago, we were expecting our first child. Not knowing wither the child was to be male or female and being a first time mom, I devoured any and all information I could. I formed many opinions, most of which I disregarded as the reality of parenting collided with the " and the plan is..."

Three little girls later, we found ourselves with considerably less opinions and more children. When we discovered another child was on the way, and the child was male, we found one opinion yet remained. We would leave our son intact.

Before having babies, I must say I gave very little thought to penises. I am a girl with all sisters and it wasn't exactly a dinner conversation at our house. But when I found myself facing the reality of raising a boy, I just couldn't get my head around loping off a piece of a perfectly healthy child for no good reason except that it exists. The research and science backed my choice and so our son has remained as God crated him.

If you are interested in the reasoning, feel free to read the below. If you are feeling of strong stomach (and are not at work) watch a video of a baby getting circumcised. If you find yourself completely freaked and blushing about the fact you just read a blog post about a penis, sorry about that.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meet the (Grand) Parents

 Dad swung by our place on his way to Cairo to check out grandbaby #10
 My mom's folks approve! This is great grand kid #14 for them.
 My mom wasted no time in snuggling baby J, who looks massive in this picture.
 Grandma and Grandpa Ross both said he passed inspection!

 Nana was impressed by how much he had grown since she saw him last
And Grandpa Craig couldn't wait to take J on his very first carousel ride.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Once upon a time, I thought the 4th of July was about fire works. I enjoyed the festivity and picnic, the time off work and with family. Sure, being an American, I knew what it was really about; our independence and yada yada yada.

I married into a family of all boys. One of these boys grew up and felt called to be a marine. My grandfather had been in the service, as had a cousin, but this was the first time I had someone close to me commit some of their life to defending the country I called home.

It wasn't long before my little brother was deployed. Oh how we prayed. We talked a few times while he was serving over seas, each time my heart worried I may not get to talk to him again. And I was just a sister, one who married into the family at that, I know his mothers heart was far more troubled. But God saw it fit to bring him home.

This Marine fell in love, married and gave me a sister who I adore. But now I had two people making a sacrifice, because the wives of those in our service are fighting their own battles. There little family remained brave through out another deployment over seas.

Never have I been so struck by the cost of what we have as when those I love were paying the price for what I take for granted. My children can safely play, be schooled, walk down the street because of the time spent by a few serving the many. I can write freely without fear of anything but sticking my foot in my mouth because they said they would keep us safe.

So, on this 4th of July, thank a soldier. Or a husband or wife of one for choosing to put their life at risk so that you can enjoy the freedom that was earned so many years ago on this day. I am not always proud of the behavior of Americans, the choices we as a country make, but I will always be proud of my little brother, because I know the heart of every solider dies a little in war and he chose to do it so our country could remain free.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Date Night

I love those articles that say good couples with healthy marriages have regular date nights. I would like to meet these couples, see if they live a thousand miles away from family, have 4 children 6 and under, and the extra income to toss around to baby sitters for watching said 4 children.

Pardon the snark, but sometime reality gets in the way of date night. I don't exactly have a line of people begging to watch the kids for free and by the time we pay a baby sitter we have enough money to go sit in the parking lot of a nice eatery and drink a slushy from the gas station, and we would have to share the slushy.

So we improvise. Tuesday is the day we pick up our CSA share. We also get our cheese and fresh fruit. So, at the Crocker house, Tuesday is "date night". 

Our girls are in bed by 8:00 or so. Baby boy usually crashes by a little after that. We get a cheap-ish bottle of wine, wash some yummy fresh veggies, pull out some cracker and olives to go with our cheese, and slice up some fresh fruit. We sit at the table, no cell phones or ipads, no tv on, just 2 grown ups having a nice conversation. 

Often our date is interrupted by a little girl with a bad dream or a baby who needs to eat, but that is reality. Maybe one day we will be the happy, healthy couple who wears something other than yoga pant with a t-shirt and a nursing bra on date nights, but for now, this will do. I will be grateful for mediocre wine, really great cheese, fruit and veggies, and a husband who has low standards for date attire.