Monday, October 15, 2012

Andrew's 10th Birthday & Better-Than-Bakery Caramel Rolls

Happy Monday, Friends!! I'm so happy you are here!!
Today I'm serving up the best caramel roll recipe ever! The best part is, they are made with only 5 ingredients, and you prep it all the night before, let 'em rise overnight, bake in the morning and voila! Bakery bliss for breakfast! Scroll to the bottom for the recipe - and don't forget to PIN IT!
ALSO TODAY: highlights from our son Andrew's birthday, the life-changing movie I watched with Steve Saturday night (on the Faith page) and, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, fast and effective workouts anyone can squeeze into their day (on the Health and Fitness page).  
I hope you'll stay awhile!!
Last week, we celebrated my son Andrew's 10th birthday.  I don't know what it is about the 10th year that is so hard for me.  I suppose, it is the realization that 10 years has gone by so terribly fast, and that I must try with all my might to slow down and savor every moment of the next few years of this boy's life, before they, too, slip away.

I could probably write a book on the reasons why having children has changed my life and made me a better person.  Every day my kiddos say and do things that cause me to pause and consider my own behavior, habits and relationships.  Andrew is a uniquely tender, perceptive and contemplative soul (more gushing here).  People often tell me how much they enjoy just being around him.  He has a way of bringing out the good in everyone. And, he challenges me every day to be a better person in every way possible.

Each year for their birthdays, I let the boys choose what kind of cake they would like, and then I make a firm attempt to try and fulfill their expectations.  This year, Andrew just could not decide.  He also could not think of even one gift he would like to receive, even though his brothers overwhelmed him with a slew of ideas.  I told him to take his time and to let me know when he came up with a plan.

A few days later, he proudly informed me of his decision.  "Mom, I've been thinking about my birthday cake.  You know how you told me that I should choose something that reflects what I enjoy or what is special to me?  Well, I thought about it, and what means the most to me is my family.  Can you make me a family cake?"  Melt. My. Heart!!
Every birthday around here begins with the Husband family tradition of birthday breakfast (see recipe below) followed by gifts. So, of course we had to start the day off right!  Then, after school, the boys all took turns playing with Andrew's new slingshot and eating Pop Rocks (yes, all dietary rules fly south on birthdays). 
Thank goodness Steve can teach the boys proper weaponry skills.  Because, if I were in charge, someone would most likely end up in the e.r.
Rabbits, beware!!
In a house full of boys, you might imagine that a lot of teasing goes on around here.  Birthdays are no exception.  While wrapping Andrew's gifts, we decided to play a little prank on him.
Each brother bought a gift for Andrew, and Steve and I bought a slingshot for him.  I wrapped it up with some amo and safety glasses and placed them in the bottom of a huge gift bag. Over the slingshot I tucked in three carefully wrapped vintage aprons that my Aunt Jane had sent me a few weeks ago.  Andrew dug right in, perplexed as to what these three little soft bundles could be. 

We all had to fight back our smiles and laughter, when he discovered the aprons.  With a serious face, I explained, "You can wear those when you help me cook in the kitchen so you don't get your clothes dirty."  His expression was one of confusion covered up with politeness as somehow he managed to muster little smile and a polite "thank-you so much (his response to every single gift)!!"  Oohhh, that's when we knew we had got him good! 
Then, we all burst into fits of laughter, screaming, "JUST KIDDING!!" He joined right in on the banter, completely relieved that there was more to the package than just a few frilly aprons!!
For supper, Andrew requested enchiladas with all of the fixings, and we topped it off with the family themed cupcakes (which looked a little scary, but no one complained - they were just happy to stuff their faces with more sugar. Perfect!)

I  love this picture of George with Andrew.  The day before the birthday, I took all of the boys to town to do a little shopping for Andrew.  I overheard George painfully confessing to Andrew that he had no money because he'd spent it all on our last trip to Wichita.  Without hesitating, Andrew placed his hands on George's shoulders, and with comfort in his voice reassured his brother, "It's okay, buddy, I'll give you some money and you can pick out anything you want for me."  Hugs and smiles followed.  

George spent 20 minutes at Target carefully selecting four shiny new Hot Wheels for Andrew's car collection.  And, of course he loved them.  "Thank you so, so much, George!!" Precious.  One very proud and thankful Mommy, right here.

{ Easy Overnight Caramel Rolls }

1. Spray a 9 x 13" pan with cooking spray.
2. Sprinkle 1 cup chopped pecans on the bottom of the pan.
3. Top pecans with 2 dozen frozen rolls (I like Rhodes).
4. Sprinkle with one package of dry butterscotch pudding - the cook type.
5.  Sprinkle rolls with 1 cup brown sugar
6.  Melt 1 stick of butter and drizzle over the top.
7.  Cover with Saran wrap and let rise on the counter overnight.
8.  In the morning bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
9.  Turn rolls over onto a cookie sheet, and scrape out any extra goodies from the bottom of the pan over the top of the rolls.  Serve immediately.  Watch you family or your guests faint!


  1. Those rolls look amazing.. I really wish I hadn't sworn off sugar and white flour! But I know my family would love this!

  2. Definitely definitely making those rolls---they look delish! Looks like a fun birthday celebration;)


  3. That child and his thoughtfulness made me tear right up. What a blessing of a son and a brother. Ten is a hard birthday for me, too. Moving into the double digits just doesn't seem right somehow.

  4. These rolls look incredible! Also? Thank you SO MUCH for linking up with Hey, That's Pintastic! I am SO HAPPY to have found your blog!!

  5. this post just made my heart melt! It gives me such a hope and perspective for my family! Right now it's just me, my husband and our precious little 17 month old son! We're hoping for the blessing of more children and reading about your sweet sons and their loving brotherly affection (and banter) just makes me eager for the years ahead. It was also a reminder to savor the time now! Thank you for sharing. Oh and for the recipe. I'm planning to make it for this Easter Sunday!


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