This past week it was my handsome sons sweet 16th birthday. We had such a fun time celebrating with family and friends and have a hard time believing he’s already such a grown up young man. He actually is taller than most of the men in our family and has just about passed up Todd. Seriously…when did he turn into a man-child?!? So grateful for this kiddo and the example he is to all of us. He keeps us all on our toes, can be a big tease but is deep down a big teddy-bear. He is constantly surrounded by 15 younger boy cousins who look up to him in every way. So thankful he’s the first boy born to our crazy-clan to help show them how to be real men. Sure love you Con!In honor of Conner’s birthday, I wanted to share with you his ‘special’ chocolate pancake recipe he created years ago. He kind of has a major sweet tooth like his Mom (sorry Bud), so anytime he has the chance, he tries to sneak sugar into his diet. Why not start the day, especially a birthday, with these double chocolate protein pancakes, right? Over the years I’ve encouraged him to add some protein powder and wheat flour to give them a little more nutrients and he’s glad he can’t really taste the difference 😉 If you want to make your teenage boy happy, or anyone in your family for that matter, give these pancakes a try! You’re going to love them. Thanks Conner for this tried and true recipe 😉

Last year my husband started a tradition with our daughter when she turned 16 to take her on her first date. He made the night so special for her, gave her a ring, took her to a nice restaurant, etc. Now that our son was 16, it was my turn to spoil him and take him out on his first date. We had such a great time! It’s funny with 5 kids how little time you get to have one-on-one with your kiddos. I kept saying, “Conner, you are so funny!?!” He would say, “You know Mom, if you’d spend more time with me, you’d realize a lot of things about me you don’t know.” He said this with a twinkle in his eye because he knows that would break my heart. Really though, it’s so true. Life just whizzes by and before you know it, you have these grown up kids and you’re not sure where the time went. I felt so grateful the whole night for the chance to be Conner’s Mom. There are many days I wonder why it was me. Not having brothers, I feel really inadequate to know how to raise a teenage boy. However, I would trade our journey for anything. He has taught me the most about patience, unconditional love, how to loosen up (yep…hard for me!) and so many more things. I just love this kid and am grateful I got to celebrate his birthday in a special way. Ladies…he is officially ready to date and was nothing but a gentleman and a super great young man. Love you Conner! 

Todd and Kierra last year on their special 16th birthday date 😉 Love these people of mine!

Triple Chocolate Protein Pancakes
Ingredients
  1. 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup cocoa powder
  4. 6 tsp. baking powder
  5. 5-5 1/2 cups flour (did 3 cups wheat flour)
  6. 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  8. 6 eggs
  9. 6 cups milk
  10. 6 T. oil
  11. 12 oz. bag dark chocolate chips (optional)
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Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the buttermilk (or milk), eggs, oil, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder and chocolate protein powder to the batter and whisk until incorporated. If the batter is too runny, add a little more flour. If it's too thick, add a little more milk. If your batter is too thin, your pancakes won't be light and fluffy. Heat a griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray or add a little butter to melt. Pour 1/2 cup of the batter onto the hot griddle. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips to the top of one side of the pancake. Cook on the first side until the bubbles in the batter begin to pop and the sides of the pancake become more firm. Flip the pancake and cook on the second side for a few more minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the pancake from the griddle and serve with your favorite syrup. You can also top these with fresh berries or fruit for a delicious breakfast.
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