We started our day with the Hameloth’s at the Washington Monument.
This is a view from the WWII memorial.
Just like the last time we were here, there were very old men being brought by their families or other organizations to see this tribute to their sacrifice.
Korean War Memorial
At last we worked our way over the Vietnam Memorial. It’s hard to express how emotional this was to see Nadia standing on Mike’s shoulders to take a rubbing of her grandpa’s name. It was a very different experience for Mike to come here now that we have children.
The wall was too hot for Nadia’s hands so Logan got on Steve’s shoulder to finish the rubbing.
Dani was such a trooper, but so tired after our very long day together. Steve was happy to hold her while she slept and we waited for the bus.
We had a wonderful time with the Hameloth’s, but the time went way to quickly!
I already enjoy Lauren’s writing and I expected more goodness from her and this book hit the mark. I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons. As a Christian and adoptive mom I was especially intrigued, but I recommend this book to everyone.
The title of each chapter is a saying from her son Mareto who has autism and who looks at the world in such an amazing way. The stories of life from his perspective made me laugh and cry, sometimes in the same chapter. Lauren has learned so many things from her precious boy and she has shared this amazing things with the rest of us in this book. The world would be a better place if more people looked at the world and the people around us like Mareto does.
I was so encouraged by how Lauren brought each of the chapters back to how God sees us, not how the world sees us or how we see ourselves. We are constantly talking about this with our children as we prepare them for their adulthood. This wonderful quote from the book is exactly the kind of thing we are telling our children all the time, “Life with God is better – not easier, not devoid of pain or tragedy or missteps – but it is better.”
She brings home with sweetness and joy that God loves us and is with us even when life doesn’t go the way we expected. She is honest about the very real struggles her and her husband have faced in this life and road to their children. I don’t want to give away too much, but there are so many wonderful, quotable things in this book to encourage you.
I found this recipe in “The Star Wars Cookbook” that a friend gave us for my daughters birthday. I thought the name was fun and so it was the first recipe that we tried. From the first batch, our family was hooked and I haven’t made another type of chocolate chip cookie since. We have made them for so many events and been repeatedly told that they are the best chocolate chip cookies ever.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375.
Put the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Set aside.
Put the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in another mixing bowl. Using the electric mixer set on high speed, beat together until well blended and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scoop a rounded tablespoon of the dough and drop on a baking sheet. Be sure to leave about 1 inch between the cookies because they spread as they bake.
Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Place cookies on cooling racks and let cool completely.
Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.
My personal baking tips for this recipe:
I use 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon.
I use salted butter.
I bake on parchment paper.
I use a counter top convection oven – so I drop the temp to 350 and bake for 7 minutes.