Sunday, January 20, 2008

Yummy, yummy Cinnamon Rolls....mmMMmm!

Reminiscent of a favorite stop at the mall...

Sweet Rolls

3 ½ -4 cups Flour
1 package active dry Yeast
1 cup Milk
¼ cup Sugar
¼ cup Margarine
½ teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs

In large mixer bowl combine 2 cups of flour and the yeast. In saucepan heat the milk, sugar, margarine, and salt just till the mixture is warm (115˚ to 120˚) and margarine is almost melted, stirring constantly. [If too hot cool down] Add to flour mixture in mixer bowl; add eggs.

Beat at low speed of electric mixer for ½ minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Continue to knead and add enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that feels smooth and elastic. (8 to 10 minutes). Knead dough on hook for an additional 10 minutes. Shape into ball. Cover; set raise in a warm place till double (20-25 minutes).

Cinnamon Filling

1 cup Light Brown Sugar
5 Tablespoons Cinnamon

½ cup Margarine, melted

Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll part of the Dough into a 12x8-inch rectangle. Brush dough with the melted margarine; sprinkle sugar mixture on margarine. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from long side; seal seam. Slice into rolls. (I find it easier to use Dental Floss, but I don't really have a great knife.) Place rolls, cut side down, on greased baking pan or cookie sheet. Let rise until doubled, about 35 minutes.

Bake 350˚ for 15 to 18 minutes. Top with Frosting when cooled.

1x makes 12 BIG rolls (that's what I like), or 18-24 smaller rolls (if you're lucky).


The crowning glory that truly sets this recipe apart from all others.

4 oz. Cream Cheese
½ cup Margarine
1 ¾ cups Powder Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Place cream cheese and margarine in a mixing bowl and let them sit for 30 minutes, (so they are not too cold). Mix for 6 minutes at low speed. [If you have a KitchenAid mixer use paddle beater and mix on #2 setting.]

Switch to the Whip beaters and whip the Cream Cheese mixture for another 10 minutes at medium speed [or #6 on the KitchenAid].

Add 1 cup of the powder sugar and whip for 1 minute. Then add the remaining ¾ cup of powder sugar and whip for another minute.

Add the Vanilla and whip for 1 more minute.

Once the Cinnamon Rolls have cooled...Top with Frosting. YUM!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Part 3...Surprise Reaction

***Length disclosure- This post seems really long but should be quick because the pictures are what make it so very long. Be forewarned, there are LOTS of pictures.***

Now we walk you through the arrival of the JKLM-n-O Rowbury family to the Karoly family in Tulsa, with pictures. (Because EVERYTHING is better with pictures!)


As we approached Tulsa we were in constant communication with Josh & Adele. The excitement was mounting, the anticipation was peaking, and we were all loving the adrenaline rush. :) We were giving last minute advice and instruction to each other, because the moment WE arrived at the family's door step we had to act as though they weren't coming.

Leah and Mason were asleep and Owen was quietly taking in the drive.

When we were 15 minutes from the house it began to snow, and the closer we got the heavier it fell. I was giving directions and snapping pictures as we went. (hehehe)

By this time we had woken Leah and told her we were close, very close, and she needed to get her socks and shoes on.

We were also reminding her that Josh and Adele coming was a "surprise", a "secret." We were just not going to talk about them or what they were doing. We want them to be able to surprise Grandma. We asked her, "Can you keep the secret?"
"Yea, yea. Sure, sure. I can keep a secret."
We trusted her. What else could we do at this point? Besides we had a strategy, if Leah ever did start talking about Josh and Adele we would tell her that they couldn't come because Adele was pregnant and couldn't make the long drive. Sure, it confused and flustered her, but it threw nearly every one off the scent...Ok, it only seemed to work on my mom, but that was the best part...we'll get there, I promise.

***Special note--While we were still 20 minutes away I called my Mom to see "how things were goin' ", "what they were up to", "did they know what they were doing for dinner, 'cause I was trying to get that started for us." I'm sure you can see where that was all going. I had Kevin listening to a Bowl game on ESPN (we have SIRIUS--it is GREAT for us!) so they thought I was just sitting at home having a laid back Saturday. O the joy! :)***

The approach to the house was taken slowly and we went over who would help which child. And how we would ACTUALLY do this.

When I got up to the door, we checked the handle and it was unlocked!!! So I pushed it open, and with camera in one hand and Mason at the other, began calling out, "Hello! Hellllo! Helllloooo! MERRRRRY CHRRISSTMASSS! MERRY-MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!" Seriously it felt like an eternity before Kristen and my Mom appeared.

My Mom was positively the HAPPIEST-MOM-IN-THE-ENTIRE-WORLD at that particular moment. She of course went right into planning everything! Dinner, Beds, Sleeping arrangements, Breakfast, Christmas...O how she LOVES to be BUSY!!! hehehe...It's the truth. Just ask her. :) Remind anyone of somebody. ;)

My sisters, Nicole and Heather, and my Father, were all at work. Well, we decided that Leah, Mom, and I would pick up Nicole and Heather.

Ahhhh! I love my sisters! They never seem to let me down! Their reactions...Well, pictures speak a thousand words, right?


Isn't that a great face in picture #2? Look how wide her mouth is! :)

Well, a story...

Nicole was telling me about the gift she wanted to have made for Josh and Adele for Christmas. But all Leah heard was "Josh and Adele for Christmas."
She blurts out, "How did you know about Josh and Adele coming?"
Nicole's eyes got big, and I brushed it off with the story that they couldn't come because Adele was pregnant and yada-yada-yada...Well, Leah had a confused look and Nicole became suspicious, but Mom was completely immuned. I guess it shows just how much my mom trusts me. (Thanks mom, because truly I am the worst liar...ever.) I pulled Leah aside and tried again to tell her that it was a secret and we could NOT talk about it around Grandma or the Aunts. It didn't work.
After we got in the car and were on to out next destination (Sam's Club-for dinner and miscellaneous food items), Leah whispers, "Mom, I got to talk to you about something. It's about the secret."
Well in our car she is in the seat furthest away so EVERYONE can hear her. I tell her that we'll talk when we stop, but she was persistent. FINALLY, she stopped. (Thank you Leah.)


Heather was in the back room finishing up. She had us standing outside that door for 10 minutes waiting for her to FINALLY come out! Her reaction was by FAR the BEST, especially with the way it was caught on camera! Right after that last picture was taken her bottom lip ran into my camera lens. The lens was fine but her lip was cut and a little bruised. She said it was worth it. I was just AMAZED with the ferocity in which she hugged me, and she came to me first, NOT Leah. Usually when people are given the choice Leah wins out. That was nice for me. :)

I have no pictures of my Dad's reaction. I was in bed, snoozin'. He did call shortly after we got back to the house from picking every one up to just see how things were going at home. Heather asked, "Does Dad know?" with the phone in her hand and him on the other end. Sweet Heater! (And "no" I did NOT misspell her name, that's a term of endearment for her.) He was suspicious from then till he got home, but he thought it meant Josh and Adele were there NOT us. :) Our minivan let him know the truth when he pulled up.

I DO, however, have a picture of my hubby's reaction to BYU's miracle win.
He was so astonished! I don't recall ever previously seeing this look on his face. GO COUGARS!!!

Kevin stayed up waiting for them to come in. Besides myself he was the only one that KNEW they were coming. The others only guessed. Kevin, in good conscious, could not sleep knowing they were out in the snow, which was still falling. So, at 2:42 am CST, Josh and Adele came through the door. Mom was pulled out of bed and the surprise, for her, was COMPLETE.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Part 2...In the Car

I would like to say that we moved on shortly thereafter, but we did end up staying there an additional 45 minutes. It felt like we would never get anywhere, or at least that we were not getting where we wanted to be as quickly as we would have liked. Nearly every stop we made lasted at least 10 minutes and up to an hour when food and bathroom breaks for all were involved.

***I would like to note that Leah kept her Pull-Up dry all night long! A first for her during a long car ride. I think it was the 3 stops during the night for fuel and restroom breaks that helped her with that. YEA!! for LEAH!!! :)***

Kevin and I had an animated conversation discussing possibilities for the future. Where we could live? What we could do for additional income? How we could make things work better financially, now and in the future. It lasted for a good 2 hours, plus. However, by the time that had petered out we were a bit tired so we pulled off the freeway, got some fuel and napped in the corner of a Pilot and got some rest. After about 2 hours we were off once again.

By 10am we were in St. Louis and on our final stretch of highway, Interstate-44 would take us directly into Tulsa!

By this time every time when we stopped Leah was the one encouraging us to move on and quickly. She was tired of being in the car, but more importantly she COULD NOT wait to get to Grandma Annette's house. Two movies and a nap helped the time to pass quickly, for her at least. ;)

There was an important development that nearly ruined at least part of the surprise. Because of Josh and Adele's unforeseen stop in Wyoming they were NOT going to be Oklahoma at the same time as us. The problem comes from Leah knowing they were coming and expecting to see them when she got TO Grandmas. Well we did our best to explain to her that they would be late so we needed to NOT talk about Josh and Adele, we'll talk about how that went down later.

I really love how well our kids travel in the car. They are just GREAT!!! They don't get car sick and are very patient. They watch their movies, use their activity books and listen to books on tape/CD. They are ok with having only short breaks out of their seats and then sitting for hours.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Christmas Surprise!...Part 1

This blog is the first in a LONG line of blogs that must be posted and will be posted all in due time.

Friday, December 21st, Kevin took the day off work to take Mason to the Doctor. Well, yes he did take Mason to the Doctor and we DID have to get an antibiotic for strep throat; however, we were secretly grateful for Mason's need to see the Doctor. You see we had been planning on sneaking out of town that day of days and heading off to Oklahoma. Yes, we crazy people decided with my brother, Joshua, and his wife, Adele, to surprise our family for Christmas. He left from Utah and we left from Maryland that Friday with the plan of meeting in Oklahoma the next day and surprising our folks and sisters.

We had great weather, excepting the light rain that was coming down therefore made it impossible to set the cruise control. :( (I love driving with cruise control!) However, our weather challenges were nothing compared to Josh and Adele's. They got stopped in Rock Springs, Wyoming at 5pm because I-80 had been closed from there to Laramie for the evening. They had to stay in a dirty old motel, but did get to see "Enchanted" at the local theater. :)

Our first 150 miles were our slowest (it took us 3.5 hours just to get that far! yuck!!). When we left town (with our car packed to the hilt) Leah was suspicious and asked us what we were doing, where were we going, were we going camping? what? We told her we were going to take a long drive and our destination was a surprise, and yes we would be camping, sort of. We stopped at a McDonalds hoping to find a Playplace for the kids to get some wiggles out. When we found that they didn't have one we sat in the van for a while discussing our drive. As Kevin and I were consulting our route Leah started to have a melt down in the back seat that went something like this:

"I miss my toys," sniff, sniff.
Kevin and I looked at each other.
"..they are going to be lonely without me..."
Again Kevin and I look at each other than back at Leah.
"I miss my bed, it's so soft and comfy. I want my bed. I want to go home," sniff, sniff, tear, tear.
In hushed voices, with Leah continuing her tearful entreaty, Kevin and I decide to let Leah in on the big secret and ask her if she wishes to continue.
"Leah, would you like to be part of a BIG secret?" Kevin asked calmly. Through tear-filled eyes Leah looked at her father and nodded slowly.
"Well, we are driving to Oklahoma to surprise Grandma Annette and Grandpa. Heather, Kristen and Nicole will be there. Doesn't that sound like fun?"
"Yeah, but I miss my bed..." a few tears dropped down her cheeks.
"But you haven't heard the biggest, best part. Would you like to know what that is?"
With big eyes still filled with tears she once again nodded slowly.
"Uncle Josh and Aunt Adele are going to Grandma's house too. We're all going to get there and surprise Grandma, Grandpa, Kristen, Heather and Nicole. What do you think?"
Really, before Kevin could even finish what he was saying Leah broke in with, "Josh and Adele!!! I love Josh and Adele! Let's go to Grandma's house!"
So sorry, Grandma, Grandpa and all you aunts, but Uncle Josh and Aunt Adele were the big deal maker for this 5 year old.