Fun Friday Favorites: Family fun, grilling, and some tasty cookies

This week, I’ve been busy spinning as many plates in the air as I possibly can.  Otherwise known as, juggling all sorts of life events and responsibilities without letting these so called plates come crashing to the ground.  By no means am I bragging, but I only had one meltdown this week where my dear friend Kerstin had to listen so tenderly to me as I tearfully told her how overwhelmed I was.

Needless to say, it’s been a little busy.  I had every intention of posting a weekend recap about my stepdad’s birthday celebration last weekend, but then never published it.  Then, I immersed myself in editing my book and elaborating about important topics in my book, such as what was on my Christmas list when I was in third and fourth grade, causing time to get away from me.  And can I tell you something?  I was delighted to reminisce about my eight and nine year old self when I dreamt about Christmas gifts and Cabbage Patch Kids and Village brand Lip Lickers because MEMORY LANE.  I love strolling down memory lane.

I LOVED these lip gloss tins when I was a little girl

Remember these?  I LOVED these lip gloss tins when I was a little girl!


So, today’s Fun Friday Favorites will be a hodge podge of things…Papa Joe’s birthday, family moments with the boys, a few grilling tips, and so on.


1.  Celebrating Papa Joe’s birthday at Texas Roadhouse –

Last week, on Friday evening, my parents came up to visit us.  Papa Joe had a birthday a week ago Monday (as in April 13) and we wanted to celebrate his special day.  Of course, birthday boy picked where he wanted to eat…Texas Roadhouse.  Because STEAK.  Papa loves steak and our boys couldn’t have been happier with Papa’s decision.  They are BIG steak eaters as well…they would eat steak seven days a week if given the chance.

Papa Joe with Nate and Maxim

Papa Joe with Nate and Maxim


2.  Papa’s birthday cake –

After a delicious birthday supper, we went back to our house to finish the birthday celebrating.  At the last minute, I decided to bake and frost a cake for Papa.  So, last Friday afternoon, I was baking and frosting (using the famous recipes, of course…Best Cake Ever recipe and Best Frosting EVER recipe).  The boys were excited to help decorate it in a John Deere theme…that’s the only color Papa drives on the farm.

Happy Birthday Papa Joe!

Happy Birthday Papa Joe!

We were so happy that they came up our way to celebrate Papa’s birthday!  It was a fun evening and we wanted to let Papa know how much he is loved.


3.  Figuring out how to grill the perfect hamburger –

Earlier in the week, I decided we’d have grilled hamburgers for supper.  Now, I’m not the best “griller” and last time I tried to surprise Hubby with a yummy supper complete with grilled hamburgers…I burned them.  So, I posted this on Facebook to ask friends what their grilling secrets were:

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And I was beyond thrilled with the advice people offered.  So, Tuesday’s supper turned out great!  We had deliciously grilled hamburgers and I feel much more confident in my grilling abilities.  Here were my steps I used to be successful:  I did not smash the hamburger patties. I only flipped them once. And I did try making a thumbprint in the middle. I added some seasonings and cooked them for only half the time on the second side which was very helpful. Also, I kept four of the six burgers on indirect heat (I tried all tips that were suggested).  Not only were they delish, but they looked GREAT with the perfect grill marks on them.  My only problem…I had moldy buns. 🙁  I bought buns at the end of last week, thinking they’d be fine.  Nope.  So, we were unable to have buns for our hamburgers, BUT we had delicious grilled hamburgers!



4.  Maxim opening birthday presents a few days early –

Love this little guy who will be turning six soon!

Love this little guy who will be turning six soon!

Yesterday, I finished up shopping for Maxim’s birthday.  He’ll be six on Monday (I CAN’T believe how fast time is flying!!).  Well.  I got home right before the boys got off the bus, threw the presents on the bed and on the floor by our closet and then, shut our bedroom door.  I forgot to tell the boys NOT to go in our bedroom.  Nate and I were busy looking for track shoes on the computer when we heard a BIG scream and Maxim crying.

“Oh NO!  I SAW MY BIRTHDAY PRESENTS!” he sobbed and came running out into the living room.


After quizzing him, I realized that he had only seen the presents that were on the floor by our closet, not the ones on the bed (how he missed seeing the ones on top of the bed is a MIRACLE to me).  So, I comforted Maxim and told him it was Mommy’s fault and not to worry…we had other birthday presents for him that would be a surprise.  So, I put the two gifts he saw into gift bags with tissue and Maxim “opened” a few gifts after school yesterday.  Doesn’t he look so surprised in the picture?  I love this tenderhearted little guy!  No worries, I say… “Let the birthday celebrating begin!”  We celebrate birthdays all weekend long around here anyway!  And we’ll continue celebrating right up through Monday, the 27th…Maxim’s actual birthday!


5.  Chick-fil-a chocolate chip cookies –

Delicious.  PERIOD.

Delicious. PERIOD.

You all.  THESE COOKIES.  They are so good.  The boys and I have ordered them before, but last Saturday, I went through their drive-thru and ordered a half dozen to bring home (for the boys, of course.  And maybe for this mama.). Throw these babies in the microwave for about 15 seconds and you have one of the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever(with a hint of oatmeal, I believe).  You’ve gotta try them!


6.  More cookies –

These cookies and my homemade frosting make a yummy pair :)

These cookies and my homemade frosting make a yummy pair :)

Okay.  I’m starting to feel like Cookie Monster here.  Can you tell that I love cookies?  After making Papa’s birthday cake, I had frosting left over.  I stored it in the refrigerator this week knowing I had a perfect plan.  I bought the Pillsbury Sugar Cookies (the plop and drop kind) at the store and then, baked them on Wednesday night.  Then, we got out the left over frosting and the boys and I had YUMMY frosted sugar cookies. The Best Frosting EVER recipe that I use for my birthday cakes is the same recipe I use to frost my homemade sugar cookies.  This recipe even tastes great on Pillsbury plop and drop cookies.


7.  Football, baseball, and track –

I must say…springtime is super busy, but the boys LOVE their sports and we love watching them.  Nate is playing flag football and running track.  Maxim is playing coach pitch baseball.  We are running here and there for practices, games, and meets will start up next Saturday.  BUT.  We love it.  Seeing our boys play sports and doing things they love makes our hearts happy.  Hubby and I are so proud of our boys.  We are so thankful for our two healthy boys. 🙂


Enjoy the weekend doing things you love!  Maybe you’ll bake some easy plop and drop cookies and then, frost them with the best frosting recipe!  Or just go through Chick-fil-A’s drive thru and order some of their chocolate chip cookies…you’ll thank me for sharing about these yummy cookies!  Have a wonderful weekend!



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