Thursday, July 30, 2009

Panama City Beach, and Coming Home

We are back from the beach! After getting unpacked and getting a start on setting up our school things, I finally have made some time to sit down and put up some new pictures.

We had a great time at the beach. Our condo unit was really nice. It had 3 bedrooms (one for Tim and me, one for Tami and Neal, and one for Sharon and Larry) plus a bunk "room" for the boys. Maybe I should say bunk "niche" was a door-less room right off the kitchen that was a good size with a nice bunk bed. I was concerned about how the boys would do sleeping right off the living-area, so I gave them Melatonin (!) every night at bedtime, and we all slept great!

I didn't take very many pictures...but here is a token:

One evening we walked out on a near-by pier which was bustling with night-time fishers. We were hopeful of seeing someone pull in a shark, which is not uncommon. (Yes, this is near where we stayed, but the pier goes way out into the deep water, where we of course don't swim.) The tallest condo unit in the picture is where we stayed.

The boys all hitched rides:

Here, the water looks deceivingly close to the walk-way. It is actually maybe 30 feet down (that's my guess--feel free to correct me, anyone who knows better). See Tim hanging on tight to the kids in the far right of the picture??

Here's one of the 3-or-so sharks that we was a little smaller that we were hoping for...but it was a nice size for touching, which the boys enjoyed...'s us....

The last day at the beach started out rainy, and wound up cool-ish and clear. The boys played the best that day. They had a ton of fun playing in the sand...

Back Home: We had a game day with the kids. I can't remember how many games we all played that day, but towards the end we got out Cadoo. The kids love it. It is like Cranium-but on a kids-ability level. Here's Sam with his flying saucer (he had a little help from Daddy).

Trevor likes the thinking problems a lot. He had to figure out which of 3 figures on the card was different...

Although he wasn't sure about it at first, I think William enjoyed boxing for us. The kids guessed the answer so fast, I almost missed the picture...

Here's a picture William took of me working at the school desk. After we got home, I finally sat down to figure out when we need to start school. My goal is to finish when Samuel finishes his Preschool, so I have to start ahead of when Sam does, since the state requires more days than what Sam goes to school. I realized (with shock) that I need to start around the 4th of August! Perhaps I should have figured that out earlier...oh well. So, I am in a mad rush to get situated. (See the stuff sitting all over the place?? Not ideal for school time...)

And finally, here's a picture of our tasty dinner the other night. We have a fast-food chain around here called "BoJangles" which has drive-across-town-good biscuits. Now, I already make moist-and-fluffy biscuits, so Tim worked with our recipe to recreate our favorites: cinnamon biscuits, and blueberry biscuits.

Since Mom suggested adding a recipe to a previous blog, I'll put this one on here...try them out if you like! (Beware: These are addictive. I used to make Bisquick biscuits, but once I tried these, I'll never go back.)

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour

4 t. baking powder

1/4 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

1/2 c. cold shortening *

1 c. buttermilk**

Combine dry ingredients, then cut in shortening until crumbly. Add buttermilk, and more flour as needed to make un-sticky-enough to work with (however, it should still be "jiggly"). Turn out on floured surface and kneed lightly 4-5 times. Roll or pat to 1/2 inch thick, then cut with biscuit cutter. Bake on un-greased cookie sheet for 13-14 mins at 425.

*I use the wrapped sticks of crisco, instead of the tubs. Maybe everyone else already knows about those, but they are still new and exciting for me. I keep them in the fridge and just cut off the amount I need.

**I actually don't keep buttermilk on hand, even though I live in Alabama. I guess I'm still a Yankee. I keep powdered buttermilk in the fridge, though, and put in 4T of that with the dry ingredients, and use about 3/4 cup water instead of the buttermilk--a whole cup of water just makes it too sticky.

To make cinnamon biscuits, we sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on the dough as we roll it out, and then fold it over...we do that about 4 times, so that the cinnamon is layered in the dough. Cut out the biscuits, brush with melted butter, and bake. Top with powder sugar icing.

To make blueberry biscuits, we give some frozen blueberries (I put dry, fresh blueberries in an empty yogurt container and store them in the freezer. They are great for smoothies too) a turn in the blender until they are chopped up--maybe 10-15 berries? Add about a t. of sugar to the berries, and kneed them into the dough, just like the cinnamon. Yep, it is messy. Cut out, brush with butter, and top with p-sugar icing. (Side note: I would never go to all that trouble...but Tim enjoys the process, and I enjoy cooking with him. Plus, they are so tasty, it's worth it.)

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