Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!

Captain America stopped by Wahmert the other day and picked up a little action figure of himself for his handsome preteen spitting image to keep in case of loneliness. We call it Little Daddy or sometimes just "your daddy" like daddy is an item, as in "got your daddy in your bag?" lol, it can get pretty silly but here's the thing;

Now I want a Little Daddy. Sounds weird doesn't it?

You should see the places Little Daddy goes though, under the seat, he sits on the table, once he landed upside down on his Frisbee and stood on his head. Oh the fun we have with Little Daddy. We've only had his for a day! Stay tuned for the Adventures Of!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Winter!

I needed a good feeling to follow up the yuck of my leftover dream. Winter wonderland is just the right picture in my mind.
3 more days until Christmas!!!

Memories Have Teeth.

I hate to dream because I have terrible dreams, some are fictional and some are based on the truth, or what the truth could have been.
Last night I had two dreams, both about my mom and dad who divorced when I was 17. The whole thing was horrific and unbelievable to us all, except for Dad, who seemed to welcome it joyfully.
In the first dream we were at our old church, the church my parents helped to build. We were in the sanctuary but not for church, many of the families with children I grew up with were there. It was present day and my parents were back together. Waking from that dream draws out every emotion that I've run from and taken every effort to dull for the past 13+ years. I could sob and beg right now, in hopes that something would change, just as I did when I was 16.
The next dream was set in Iowa City and we were visiting our family, as we did millions of times while we were a family. In this dream they were divorced and it was again present day, like reality kicked in, but only a little. Mom was on a walk, I could see her up on a hill, Dad must have seen her too and he walked on the same path but up ahead, slow enough that she would pass by. When that happened she accused him of tearing up our lives all for his own selfish pleasure, just as he knew she would. He jabbed her in the leg or arm with something like a blunt metal skewer, about the size of a pencil. She jabbed him back and he fell to the ground moaning and groaning as if he would die. By the time I got there people were staring. I got down on the ground beside Dad, out my hands on either side of his face, and told him to suck it up and take responsibility for his actions and their out come. I told him he'd better learn take what he dishes out. He did not comprehend.
These are the days I do not go back to sleep. I hate my dreams, and my memories are too bittersweet and painful to treasure.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Years Resolutions

It's getting to be that time. I know you're probably thinking that I should let Christmas get here first but by the time the parties are over and family gets home the time has practically run out. So this is just a little nudge to say, "Hey, think about what you'd like to do differently in the up coming year."
So, start with what you loved about this year and intend to include those in your life as much as possible, whether it's an activity, special people, or a park you visited. Chose to keep those enjoyable experiences as regular as possible. Something as little as making your children's favorite meal reduces dinner time scuffles and helps to keep the mood light hearted.
For myself, I always add "lose weight" to my list. If you have something that you find difficult to do, like quitting smoking, add it anyway, you have a whole year! Don't beat yourself up for not getting it done, but purpose to come to a place in your heart, mind, or soul, that wants to do it. If you quit a bad habit at the urging of others, you wont enjoy the victory. If you quit for yourself, everyday is a win!
This year I plan to have 3 items on my list, not to check off one by one, but to work on for the whole year. As usual, I'll have "lose 20 lbs!" but a couple of other things on the list will be less about the outside and more about the inside, like maybe eat raw one meal a day or smile at every driver who causes me some frustration. I'll probably have some Spring cleaning listed and maybe a goal for my work too. I might even say "Eat cheesecake!" because, really, everyone wants to be good at something!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Gift of Giving

Tonight we had a wrapping party which was such fun that I think we'll do it again very soon!
For one thing, I have lots of gifts yet to be delivered to my door so another round of wrapping is in the future. Another reason is that I'm not quite done shopping, though most of the people on my list have a nice (not naughty) check mark that says I know what they're getting! So the hard part is over and it's only December 4th!
Gift selecting, wrapping, and giving is really really really my favorite part about the non-spiritual traditions of our American Christmas holiday. I love looking for something special or hearing a little bird tweet the wishes of a friend or family member. It just feels so good to hit the spot with something personal. There is something more special than gifts though and I've posted a little, here and there, about the small group we're a part of at church.
We like to do volunteer opportunities when we find them so we've helped out at a Convoy of Hope outreach before, swept the floor at a local food donation site, handed out medals at a Special Olympics style event for children and older folks with special needs a few times, but what I think I have come to love the most is finding a local church that feeds the homeless and poverty stricken, every week. This is not only for the holidays or just in the wintertime but all year they serve food, supply groceries and clothing, and offer encouragement and prayer for their individual needs and circumstances.
One morning, I walked into their warehouse building and I was in a particularly grumpy mood, the special kind of grumpy that happens on days when I have had about 5 or 6 hours of sleep. I was thinking that I might just stay for a few minutes if I couldn't find it in me to have a single positive thought. I scolded myself about my selfishness and irritability when I was there, warmly dressed, with gas in my car, food on my table every single day, and a safe and warm home every night. My mood wasn't lightened but I pushed up my sleeves and walked through the door. Over the course of the next couple of hours I was greeted with faces that were filled with delight and gratitude. These were no grumpy people come to discuss their dire circumstances, these were people that were happily eating a warm meal, they could have enough, and then some more. I was immediately honored to bring each plate of hot food and my heart was bursting with love for these people whom I had never known. I could not do enough to serve them.
I wasn't growling when I walked in, I was nice and polite. When I left though, I was exuberant, filled with joy to over flowing. I had been smiled upon by beautiful people who had no reservations, no bone to pick, no homes and no attitude of self pity or despair. I had come to serve them but the reward was truly mine.
I tell you all of this not to brag, although to even speak of my small effort is the epitome of self exultation, but I am telling you, because I want you to do it too, not just at Christmastime but all year, every month, every week!
There are people in need all around us and what they need is you, but most of all; its you that needs them.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Last Time I Checked

I weighed myself last about 4 days before Thanksgiving, on the way to lifegroup to have taco night! :) I have to use my Mom's scale because, well because I don't like any one else's scale, and hers is really nice, and digital, and because every time I step on it I begin lose weight like crazy. I was scared to do it though. Because I was really hungry over the Summer and I gained. A lot.

So, I happened to be at Mom's on Nov 20, so I got up my nerve to take a peek. Then I went to eat tacos. Then I made two cheesecakes for Thanksgiving and ate at least a half of one over the next couple of days. Of course I also had Thanksgiving dinner (though I didn't go crazy I wasn't really watching it either, I just prefer to have cheesecake more than anything else). Then we had Thanksgiving again with my ugly little brother and his beautiful wife and darling children where we had more cheesecake type food and smoked turkey, sweet potatoes, honey ham, green beans, dinner rolls, fresh pineapple, stuffing, pumpkin dessert, even some salad. So this is to say that we didn't eat "lightly", or at least, I didn't. That was the day I saw the Going Raw dvd by Judita Wignall - told ya a lil bout that yesterday, remember? So I sipped a tiny tiny bit a chia because mom and Heather were making me look bad and I hated it (the chia seed and the looking bad). Then I went home and probably ate more cheesecake, and pumpkin dessert, then the next day some banana bread I made for Thanksgiving morning, a little ice cream, and there was that buy one get one free Starbucks deal they ran for 4 days from the 17-20. I had my precious steppy son so we took advantage daily. The very next day I started to think about the DVD I had seen the day before. So that's when I opened the book Going Raw. I told you about the veggie juice that I've had twice now, I made a smoothie another day, and I already sang about the chia pudding, toss in some Ezekiel bread because I'm always having that.

Now, this cheesecake everyday for every meal business is not normal, but it has been known to happen if some one's had a birthday or three. We like cheesecake and it's a cinch to make. I could eat it every day. Not kidding. I have recently had it from breakfast too.

So (I'm about to make my point), all that info was to brace you for the shock of finding out that not only did I not gain weight between Nov 20 (that day I weighed) and today, but that I have lost a little more than 5 lbs in the last 12 days, and Thanksgiving was only a week ago. Do you think is was the cheesecake? ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Do You Chia?

Are there any Chia lovers out there? Hello hello? Until 3 days ago I was not one of you.

I know, two posts in one day, it's what happens when my husband leaves me.

I've mentioned how my mom researches things - mainly health food - and then she breaks the info down so her children can process and possible learn from it, we mostly gag and scoff, but now and then something gets through, like Ezekiel bread, coconut oil, and now chia seeds!

My mom and my husband have been loving chia for some time now but I have steadfastly resisted the gagalicious super food. A few days ago I latched onto a copy of a book called Going Raw by Judita Wignall (hich belongs to my mom and which she urged me for days to crack open, and I wouldn't) and came upon the process of making your own almond milk - which we love to drink. I also found a recipe for Chia Pudding - made with almond milk!

So first I made two batches of almond milk, the beginnings of which I posted about a couple of days ago. Then I found the chia seed that I'd been scoffing at for probably two (TWO!) years and decided it would probably taste very close to tapioca pudding - which I l.o.v.e! So, following the book's concept stored safely in my mind, I combined chia, almond milk, cinnamon, and a smidge of honey. Honey, because I haven't bought any agave since I heard it might not be as amazing as it sounds(ultra processed and some other stuff that might not be malarky). I stare longingly as I pass it in the grocery aisle. I'll probably go ahead and get more because I think it's still better than honey and lower on the GI scale either way.
So there, haters.
Anyway, back to the chia pudding, right away it was runny and loose and kinda nasty but soon it started to thicken so I ate it, and then I ate a lot of it. Then I hid the rest in the back of the fridge hoping to forget about it until the next day so there'd be some left for later (dudes, I made 2 cups of it, saving some should have been no problem but I tell you, it just kept getting better and better!). Okay, grammatical problems aside here, I did save some for the next day and it was super thick and oh so delicious that now I am going to buy more chia seeds and make more almond milk. TODAY.

Also, chia is filled with protein, gives you hydration for long time, and absorbs carbs.


PS, Do it.

Drill Weekend

My usual pithy thoughts about "sleeping single in a double (or king sized) bed" and throwing parties for all the neighbor kids aren't that funny this weekend. For one thing, it's a four day weekend so I'm not as brave as I usually am for the two day weekends that happen all the rest of the months. For another thing, it's the prep weekend for deployment which is coming right up. There will be another set of orders to report for duty between this weekend and deployment but, its still a practice run for me.
I had planned to tag along for this drill but neither of us can really justify me sitting in a hotel room for 4 long days with no way to work or accomplish anything. There are just too many things happening at home right now. The first of which is a shopping night for the family our lifegroup (small group with church) has adopted for Christmas. I don't need to offer any expert shopping opinion but I do need to show up with some cash. Then on Sat we're helping out at a community thing, I might have some smiling faces show up at my door this weekend, and Sunday is the Christmas pageant that 3 children from lifegroup are going to be playing in. So, to miss all that just to read and swim all day seems kinda silly, doesn't it?
On an up note, my darling husband did schedule some leave without pay for a few days before his next duty so I'll get to see him during the holiday rush and we'll spend a little time traveling to visit friends and family too.

I don't feel cheated or ripped off to miss drill, after all! I'm glad we had this talk.

PS - Happy December! I Christmas shopped last night, and I'm almost done!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Raw Food - New Thing for Us

Something new developing here, due to my mom's knack for research.

Today I juiced: 1/3 of a fresh pineapple core and all, then 5 or 6 celery stalks, then a half of a cucumber, then a zucchini. I tasted each separately and then combined them together. The taste is a little off but... we're used to that kind of thing around here so it should fit right in. My husband would prefer it with less celery. We don't like that celery crap.
I used a little of the pulp to make a smoothie with a banana - and a little of the juice I just took from that pulp. It's very thick and I would have liked some carrot juice in there to sweeten it up and make it more familiar, or at least an apple.
After all that fun, I pulled out my dehydrator and smeared all the remaining pulp on a cutting mat that I cut to fit into the round dehydrator, then popped it in to dry for a few hours. We'll see what happens, I'm not following any recipe with this, I just didn't want to toss it. Maybe it'll come out as crackers.

So, all of this is considered Raw Food, for those of you wondering, and I'm test driving the system.
Oh, I'm also soaking almonds to make almond milk. YUM!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I was THAT girl.

Have you ever been in a situation where you're about to spill your guts to a friend and then you suddenly realize "THIS PERSON IS NOT MY FRIEND"? What about if, you've JUST let loose of a millions little things or maybe one big thing that's been bothering you and THEN it becomes apparent, after you've bared your soul, that this woman doesn't consider you worth a smirk.

A couple of years ago I was chatting with a group of friends whom I feel very comfortable with. So I was doing a little work related venting, when all of a sudden, right out of nowhere, I was verbally slapped right back into my seat. Oh the humiliation I felt. It was at that moment that I realized I had trusted someone by association, and she was not to be trusted. Lets call her Sally.

Lesson 1: Don't cast your pearls before swine but do love your neighbor as yourself.

Watch it sisters because we women can be so mean. And really, we should stick together. Yes, many times we can be oh so shallow and full of our selves but what if that snooty little perfect girl really has a horrible self image?? What if that gal who has the life you dream of really has an unfaithful husband? You see we don't know what's going on in the lives of others, even some of our closest friends. So, while maybe you shouldn't tell your Sally your deepest and darkest secrets, you can still have coffee with her and be a real friend. Just remember not to talk about her when you get in your car. And yes, thoughts are the same as words. If you let yourself think things about someone, you'll find yourself saying them pretty soon. Don't be THAT girl.

Recently I have been in proximity to Sally a few times and have remembered to guard my sore spots. In my bitterness, although I was certainly nice to her, I allowed an attitude of meanness to flourish in my heart (towards Sally). This week I had a chance to give her a small (but loving) poke, publicly. For 24 hours, not only did I barely think of it but, I had a mean little smile in my head just for her. My tiny jab was nothing (compared to regular meanness) and once I did give it some thought I knew it was certainly well deserved and justified. We aren't even, Sally and I, not even close. Once I realized that, I knew the depth to which I had stooped. I was trying to be THAT girl to Sally, in the nicest way possible, and who was I to decide she deserved to be humiliated, even to a tiny degree? That is not my right and that is not your right, even to someone who is THAT girl.

Take my advice; it's no fun being THAT girl.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I have recently posted a couple of one pot dinners on another blog, which I host with my mom. Check them out if you're looking for inspiration.

Veggie Spaghetti or Cheesy Potato Soup!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I have a very special friend, named Kayce, who has brought many wonderful people into my life in the last 10 years. She has introduced me to her wonderful family, her wonderful in-laws, and her wonderful friends. Recently a couple of them have gotten married and my mom and I have been blessed and honored to be able to participate in their beautiful days.

First, Kristin and Seth asked for a help with the set-up and serving of their delicious wedding dinner. The wedding reception was held at this charming farm that hosts all kinds of events but I like their weddings best. It's called Peabody's Farm and you can check them out on facebook for some great pictures and details. On their farm they have a wonderful barn where any indoor event is held upstairs. They can accommodate a sit-down dinner, a bar, and dancing too. They're super people and do a super job.

Kristin and Seth served up some awesome appetizers for the guests before the dinner was brought out.

and dinner was started with a couple of great salads and some crunchy toppings,

for the main dish they served BBQ meat next to hot delicious vegetables and a variety of rolls.

Everything about the event was filled with fun and delight, and deliciousness! Last week Kristin came to visit and she brought a treat of cheese fondue and another of chocolate fondue to share with my mom and I, in honor on my birthday. She is such a kind and giving person and we were so blessed to be part of her wedding day. She really makes a great fondue too!

A few weeks after Kristin and Seth's wedding, my wonderful friend, Kayce, e-mailed me to ask if we were up to making and serving cake for another wedding! My first thought was "how fun!" and we said yes instantly. This was to be the wedding of Kayce's sister-in-law, Ciara. She's very girly and sweet and loves the vintage look, everything about the day was sweet and antique. She had a specific cake in mind, red velvet, with a specific style to it. I loved it immediately and I think you will too.


We also made a few sheet cakes in marbled chocolate and vanilla with a buttercream frosting. They really were delicious to eat and to look at! The day was a dream and the details were so beautiful and perfect. Again, we were just so blessed to be a part of it and had such a wonderful time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hot Stone Massage and Cheesecake!

It's my little birthdaaay!!!


Monday, October 17, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Well, it's the second most wonderful time of the year anyway! Fall! I just love it!

I love the way the leave blow from the branches of the trees! I love how colorful those leave are in their red, golds, yellows, and oranges before they all give way to a nice Autumn brown. The crunch of those same leaves after they crisp up and float down to blow around on the sidewalks.

Go have some hot tea, hot chocolate, apple cider, or a Starbucks Pumpkin Latte! Mm mm!

Happy Fall, everyone!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Key to Motivation:

Sometimes the difference between motivation and laziness just comes down to a good bra.
To Whom it May Concern: Thanks. You know who you are.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Productive Day

We replaced 9 (nine!) lightbulbs today, just in our own house. It's especially nice to see my clothes while I'm inside the closet.

Also, we love the truck.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Making Yogurt... and plans.

My yogurt turned out so well last batch that I can't resist having it again, fast! Since we ate up the last of the last batch last night I'm cooking up a new batch today! Wow, I sure hope it's as great as the last one. High expectations for this batch!

As for the plans... I am going to the Air Force base next week and I think we're actually going to buy a truck! Those are connected, you may not see, by me. I have to go along in order to drive one of the vehicles back. Probably the car, if you get my drift. No more renting big U-haul trucks to move, no more wishing for a truckload of free local mulch (I know I know), I just love thinking about having the ability to haul our own stuff around! I better make plans for an early Autumn camping trip too. Size matters, we're only looking at truck that are big enough to haul all of our projected children around, well, most of them anyway... We'll be safe if we stop at three but if we space them out then my stepson will be driving too and maybe he'd drive one or two of his little siblings around. :) Just dreaming here. Just think of all the friends we'll be able to help when they need to move now... just ask!

Best of all my stepson is a 5th grader this year and so we'll be going to his first ever football game next week! So many wonderful Fall things are happening! I love the Fall best of all!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tough Guys Are The Sweetest Guys!

Mr Erik Matthew, you are a cute little charmer with big brown eyes and a great big heart. You're always bursting with energy and zest for life! You're a tough guy with a sweet heart and that makes you so easy to love!
Erik, when you were born we were all so amazed by you. You made so many little sounds and noises and you were such a handsome big boy. So Big! I had never held such a big and strong newborn. When you got even bigger we got to know how patient and persistent and tough you really are. You are a fighter! You are an over comer, Erik. You can stand your ground against the toughest odds and I am so proud of you! I am so happy you are mine. I love you awesome dude!
Happy 8th Birthday!

Love, Aunt Amy

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fried Eggplant

My dear friend came to visit the other day and arrived bearing gifts from her garden, and from the produce department as it turns out. Gifts of jalepenos, limes, grapefruit, and ... eggplant! I love eggplant yet I rarely purchase the stuff. So it sat, looking like treasure, in my fruit basket for a day or two until today, when I was inspired to fry it.

I wanted to try this without getting my hopes up. I wanted to see what would happen if I wasn't shooting for spectacular. So I tossed together some whole wheat flour, some italian seasonings, garlic, and salt. I sliced the eggplant very thin, splashed it into some egg and dipped it in the flour mixture. Once it was in the skillet I left it just long enough to cook the breading and to crisp up, then I piled it on a plate and sampled the results. After that I sang the Hallelujah chorus and called in my resident taste tester who agreed that it was delicious.

1 Eggplant, sliced thin - approx 1/8 inch slices
1 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c pizza or Itallian seasoning
1 t garlic - more if you love it
Pink Himalayan salt, use your best guess here since I didn't measure the salt.
2 eggs, beaten
Coconut Oil for frying - I didn't deep fry it, just enough to pan fry.

Now then, put your eggs in a bowl and beat them, next to that put your flour mixture on a plate or in a bowl, use about 2 teaspoons of oil for a med skillet. Between batches I wipe my skillet out with a folded paper towel to keep the burned crumbs from making the next batch gross.

Happy chomping!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Jimmie!

The first memory that I know I know of my little brother is from when he was around 9 or 10 months, I think. I know there are others, I remember knowing he was around but this memory plays like a movie in my mind, my sister and I must have been right at 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 and we were feeding him baby food. We must have had some practice on our dolls but I remember how much fun it was to feed a real baby real food! He was sitting in his highchair and we'd take turns getting something fruity into his baby mouth. I am sure we only had a chance to give him a bite or two in the short time Mom had her back turned because I also remember that we took a bite or two, too! I kept thinking he'd start to cry or yell at us but he didn't seem to mind, he must have thought it was ours and we were sharing with him! Silly baby!
Now that blond haired, blue eyed, cute little boy is 28 years old. Though he's still got that blond hair and those blue eyes, and still as cute as can be, he's not such a little guy! He's got his own little set of three to make his family of five, just like we were. He and his beautiful wife have two precious princesses and their own little prince charming.
My brother, with whom I spent hours playing cars, Lego's, and Lincoln Logs, as well as a few good high speed (foot) chase occasions over a stolen book or maybe a game lost on Nintendo, is the best brother anyone could have. I love to watch him be a husband to his wife and dad his children and to love his family more than himself. I am so proud of him and I love to be his sister.

Happy Birthday Jimmie, and in case you ever read this, thanks for not beating me up once you realized you were big enough, love ya.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

123 Days!

Until.... Christmas! Whooo hooo!

Christmas Countdown 2011 - Find out how many days until Christmas 2011

Comment and tell me if you've already started your Christmas shopping... or at least your shopping list?

One of Those Days

The light drizzle of rain outside, the coziness of watching the drops race down my window, the perfect temperature to venture out and sit under the dry protection of the porch, and the joy of watching the green grass get a much needed soak.

I love the rain. I love the sharp look of the rain drops as they slice through the air from cloud to ground and the ping sound they sing as they land on my roof or windows.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You Need To Try This at Home

This post is about Coconut Chicken, broccoli, cooked (or fried or sauteed) apples, and Ezekiel bread. All cooked in coconut oil, and all delicious!

Make some today.

The post is from my other blog called Café de Santé, enjoy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting Ready

My husband and I have planned to be foster parents for quite sometime. We began our training about a year and a half ago but put it on hold due to his active duty military status, not because he was active duty but because he was away from home during the time we needed to finish our training. Now that he's home, cross your fingers, we'll be able to begin our training again. We have learned that we need to get some things taken care of first though.

Item #1
Neuter the d.o.g. - don't tell him. He's a wild man and he's a high jumper. Not so much fun for the little ones who come to visit. So, we've been told that he could be mellowed out this way. Poor little brat.

Item #2
Register the d.o.g. - I know, I know.

Household check-ups
Make sure all the smoke detectors work.
Child proof cabinets that have cleaning supplies (or get rid of all chemical cleaning supplies).
Child proof outlets.

Item #4
Re-start foster parent course!

Easy stuff huh?

Could anyone help me decide where to take the poor pitiful doggie woggie?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mmmmm, coffee!

I mentioned this on facebook today but it didn't satisfy me. So I will mention it here. It might help.

I am drinking the first of many cups of Starbucks coffee, given to me by my dear sweet husband in the form of a delicious gift card. Even better than the espresso machine he wanted to get.

Have I ever told you about my thing for espresso machines? Well, they don't work when I buy them. I can use my brother's, I could use my mother's (if she had one), I can whip up a cuppa from any one's machine, but the machines I buy for myself never, ever, work.

They don't brew, they don't steam, they blow up (might be my fault), they fall apart.

I need one.

Friday, August 12, 2011

To The World's Greatest Husband, Captain America!

I love you.

I have loved you from the first time we kissed, right after I schooled you in basketball in my driveway, On December 28, 1996.

I love those crinkly crinkles you have at the corners of your eyes.

I love the sparkly silver hair that you let the barber buzz off twice a month.

I love your broken collarbone bump.

I love that scar on your head, the one I always have to ask about because it happened when you were young and I can never remember how.

I love your skin.

I love your lips.

I love your son and that freckle on his top lip.

I love you, your patience and your impatience, your smile and your frown, your scalding hot shower and freezing cold house and the combination of the two that steams up the bathroom and frizzes up my hair.

You're the answer to years of prayers and I'll love you forever.

Happy Anniversary.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Harvest Skillet

Oh man. Dinner tonight was stinkin' awesome.

I thought we were going out for HOT WINGS but I guess that was supposed to be last night and I blew it because I thought it was tonight! Both nights were early anyway since our anniversary isn't until Friday (yes, we're eating hot wings for our anniversary, I can't help it, it's the only thing I want).

So, Captain America calls on his way home talking about how starving he is and I'm like "uhhh, no hot wings?" and he's like "you blew me off last night I thought you didn't want to go out to eat with me". Dang it!

So, I pulled out some chicken and a sweet potato that I baked earlier today while something else was in the oven. I sat the two items next to one another on the counter and said "hmmmm". Then I poured some slurpalicious coconut oil in my pan, tossed in the chicken, chopped it up right in the pan, tossed in the potato, chopped it up right in the pan, and voila!It needed something.


Still needed something.

Something SPICY! Powdered red pepper, the cayenne kind.



For good measure I threw in about 1/4 of an apple, diced small. At the very end we agreed that corn sounded really good and I had some of that already heating. Perfect addition. It was great!

Sweet and spicy.

Happy Ending.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Okay, Confession Time

I have switched out a few shirts for the Summertime.
I also bought a dress the day before yesterday! Whoa, that was a great feeling! I still don't have the nerve to wear the dress but I'm planning to!
I have made a few exceptions to the rules and pulled a top or two from my closet now and then. Maybe 5 times.There are four months left though and I have to say it's been a good experience. I am sure I've saved a load of money by not buying things I think I need. I've been making do with the pants that I have on hand and have switched out 2 pair for Summer shorts, which I'll switch back in the Fall. I fell like that's cheating but it is my rule and I am the only one doing this.
Overall, I am happy with the way this has gone. I do feel like I could have been doing a little better job on it. I'll stick with it until Thanksgiving though and not beat myself up for my failures though. I like to take it easy on myself. :)

I had S'mores last weekend. Captain America put peanut butter on our graham crackers before we added the chocolate and marshmallow. Talk about delicious!
Speaking of Captain America, have you noticed he has a movie coming out?? Yep, that's my man!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ladies, Get Your Check-ups

I am talking about those check ups. The kind you avoid. Stop avoiding them and visit your doctor. HPV (Human papillomavirus) is everywhere. It has no noticeable symptoms unless it turns into cancer. Many times (even most times) it clears up on it's own but 5%-10% of the time it causes cancer, and that's worth preventing.

I know a beautiful young woman who found out that she has HPV and will need to have another check up in 6 months to find out if it has cleared up, and to watch it in case it develops further. If it develops, she'll have to have a biopsy and then, if needed, the cells will have to be burned off. This is a very painful process. She would like to give a message to all women: Get a Papanicolaou (Pap) test. Find out if you have HPV so that you can do something about it. Anyone can have it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Money Can't Buy Happiness

Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy marshmallows... which is kinda the same thing.

Saw a sign for this while eating Frozen Custard in Farmington, MO. I'll think of the name and get back to you.
Pics soon!

PS, Hi everyone.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Merciful Hearts

Mt heart is heavy for the people in this world who have such humongous burdens to carry and to live with. I am thinking of people who have lost their homes, their family, and their livelihood. People who have lived through tragedy and trauma and also those who just live each day with a pain from a broken heart. Thinking of these people has helped me to see that the little things in life are sometimes the big things, and that the things we think are big, are many times pretty small. It has also brought me to a place where I count my blessings everyday. Blessings that are usually taken for granted like running water, working Internet, a dependable vehicle, loving family and friends, and most of all, the love of God.
I believe that the love of God is shown by us, and through us, best of all in how we treat others. If we use our "kind" and "polite" words to scrape our boots on some one's face, to demand their humiliation, then we have not shown God's love, but our own shameful sin.
God has called us to show mercy, to offer forgiveness, and to love one another long before we are asked to do so. As Christians, that is our honor. So next time you know you have the right to publicly call someone out, remember that Christ has the right to call you out too, and He gives you mercy and forgiveness instead.
Everyone you meet is fighting some battle, so speak kindly and show mercy. Forgive them before they ask you to, and even if they never do.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's Day Ice Cream - Pioneer Woman Style

That means I am making Pioneer Woman's vanilla ice cream for Father's Day. Because my husband is a father. Because he loves vanilla ice cream. And because I bought an ice cream maker for him, for Father's Day. He'll probably crown me with it but I really think we'll get a lot of good use out of it this Summer. I'm going to take it when we go camping.

I just went to wulmert where they had no vanilla beans. I'm totally shocked because my little local store usually has everything I'm looking for. NOT. I didn't want to run into the big city for a second time today so I picked up a bottle of "pure" vanilla. We can't have any imitation vanilla mixing with full fat cream and half and half can we? No. We can't. I am sad to say that I am using the white sugar that is called for rather than some healthy alternative because, well, I want it to be perfect the first time. After I get it perfect I'll experiment and risk messing it up.

Enough about me, here's the details.

I doubled Pioneer Woman's double batch and basically followed Ree's instructions but I forgot to double the sugar, so I left it that way since it tasted pretty darn sweet to me. It's really good. I also felt that the custard had "broke" which is the only word I know for what happened, the cream separate from the... water? So my life-saver-mother suggested the magic bullet (or in my case the Bullet Express) to smooth it out. That did the job; it's sooo perfect and smooth! I have yet to put it into the ice-cream freezer/maker but that'll happen on Saturday morning just in time to spoil our lunch. Can't wait!
Okay, this is a secret gift, the secret should be safe since my darling husband never reads my blog... don't tell him, okay? I'm a bad secret keeper so, help me Rhonda!

Check back later to see pictures that I have taken/will be taking of the results.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy June

Hello everyone, from more than a week into June!
After spending most of last month talking about a serious issue that's close to my heart I just want to tell you now that my hosta bed is flourishing, my horse-puppy is growing rapidly, I'm still losing weight, my husband comes home tomorrow, my kitchen is clean, laundry is folded, and I finally have a tomato plant in my dirt. Things are going great!
Last weekend I had a couple of super-groovy gals over to my house for fun and food, I might add that I was out of coconut oil for the entire weekend, which made one of them especially, um un-happy. While they were here, I was blessed with a little sunburn that is now a tan and also public pool memories that are seared into my brain and will last a lifetime. Thanks for sharing both of those with me ladies.
Last night my mom and I rented I Am Number 4 from Redbox. That was a good movie, not for kids. Scary looking bad guys. We're crossing our fingers for parts 2 and 3!
Tonight I played with two little girls who love puppies, play-doh, dirt, ice-cream, and bath time. Perfect companions for a hot late-spring-but-feels-more-like-summer night. I suggest that you sample Häagen-Dazs Pineapple Coconut Ice-cream.
On the menu tomorrow are Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes, as per a sweet request by my dearly departed husband. He's soon to be un-departed. Whoo hoo!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Joplin, MO

Joplin, MO needs you to pray, volunteer, donate, or do anything you can do to help.
These people have not just lost their homes, belongings, jobs, vehicles, and city but also, specifically, their mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, grandparents, children and babies. Entire families. They are trying to salvage and rebuild their lives and that is hard enough, but they are functioning during their grief and that is next to impossible.
Joplin, MO needs your help. They don't need your kind thoughts. Your thoughts are not with them. The people of Joplin need money, help, prayer, and love. They need it in the physical form. They need everything they can get and they need it from you.
Please visit Convoy of Hope or James River Assembly's Joplin Tornado Relief Effort to find out how you can do your part.

Divorce Awareness Month: Part Last

To end this month I want to clarify that I have come to this belief (against divorce) not from a place of superiority or with a judgemental heart. I come as someone who has seen divorce up close and from a few different angles.
My first experience with divorce was as a 16 year old high school-er who believed in happily ever after. My family had it all, not in matters of wealth though we weren't poor. My mom loved and adored my dad. I am the middle of three kids who also loved and adored our dad. He, evidently, did not have so much love and adoration in his own heart for our family. That was something that kicked us in the gut a few minutes before he drove away. The experience rocked my world in a way that I hope to never be rocked again. My life went down hill for 5 to 7 years from that night, life after divorce isn't pretty. I have never seen someone walk away from the scene un-scathed. My family suffered, and seems still to be suffering, in many ways. Our entire church was shaken right down to the youth group that was every bit a part of our family as I was. Wounds are still healing, wounds are still bleeding, tears are still. being. shed. There is no easy fix, there are no magic words, there's no right way to recover and no correct time frame to recover in. Divorce sucks, it just plain sucks. It sucks the life right out of those it takes down with the marriage it rips apart.
My next big experience with divorce was that of my own. The entire marriage was a joke from the beginning. After we married I found out that I didn't even know the guy's actual age, if you can believe that. There was a fake id and altered birth certificate involved, and for what? Some stupid lie to maintain, some idea to live up to. The problems in that marriage were as much my own fault as his though; I walked into that marriage with the belief that I could make it work all by myself. I could make a marriage worth staying in, or something, who knows. But it always take persistence and commitment. Neither of us had that. My one regret about the marriage is that I refused to ask God's direction before I entered into it. I knew He would say no, I knew it was not the right choice, and I refused to listen. I went my own way and followed my own path. That divorce sucked too.

The rest of my experience with divorce is from a step back, my grandparent's divorced when my mom was about 10 years old. My aunt and uncle divorced when I was a little girl and I'll have memories of that for the rest of my life. Another aunt and uncle divorced when I was a little older and I still talk with my cousins about how it affects their lives to this day, twenty years later. I have watched my friends' divorces tear up their children, and themselves. Divorce rips lives apart in such a way that the heart will never forget.

I believe there is a place for divorce although the bible does not advocate, support, or encourage divorce. The bible says that if your spouse has cheated on you, you have a right to a divorce, but not that you must divorce, or even that you should. Sometimes we exercise that right to divorce out of pain, humiliation, agony, or pride. If we look back later, we might realize that the marriage could have been healed and restored with repentance and forgiveness. Don't over look that. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), and I believe it's because he sees what a blood bath it is. I always wondered why I didn't die from the pain of my parents divorce. Abandonment by an unsaved spouse is also grounds. I'll tell you that some say that abuse of any kind to spouse or children has been listed under abandonment by some, and that seems right to me, but the bible isn't clear on that and to take liberties with the Word of God is living closer to the edge than I'm willing to go.
Read what this website has to say about it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Divorce Awareness Month: Love Until You Mean It

I'm not kidding here; Your family is not an option.
It doesn't matter if you like it. I don't care if you're happy or think you could be happy in some other situation.
Happiness is temporary, it fades, it's an emotion. Emotions are fleeting. Stand up and grow up. Commit to your job as a husband or wife, as a father or mother, as a son or daughter, as a brother or sister. Be worthy of the family that loves you, and honor them. Love them until you mean it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Joplin, Missouri

Tonight, in a town a few miles from my home, a tornado hit hard and took many precious lives. The numbers are still rising, families are still searching, praying, and hoping to find their loved ones somewhere safe.
Tonight I am praying with them, for the those that lost and those that hurt.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Little Secret

I don't really even like marshmallows. I like to squeeze and squish them, I like to look at them, like to make fondant with them, I love to microwave them and then mix them with peanut butter, and I like to roast them.


Unless they're hot.

I do not like to eat them.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Divorce Awareness Month: Get Your Act Together.

I bet you wonder what I'm going to say about that, huh. Okay, I'll sum it up for you in case you'd like to roll your eyes and stop reading.
Get out of your pajamas and do your hair and make-up.
Sometimes I find myself doing this as my husband's walking through the door. There are lots of reasons that I am not dressed and ready first thing in the morning. For one thing, I am never up first thing in the morning, and we can call reason number 2 laziness. I do have something better in line for the next reason though, and that is I generally like to do my dirty work before I shower. The dirtiest work ever is cleaning in the garage. I hate to even set foot out there if I don't have shoes on. So I wear my ugliest clothes and my dirtiest hair on garage days and yard work days. Same goes for cleaning bathrooms and mopping though. So, now that all those great reasons for not being properly dressed and fresh are out of the way, lets move on.

Your husband loves you just as you are. He thinks you're pretty. So if you're bald, or one-eyed, or if you have chicken pox, it's okay! No matter what you look like though, you can take a shower and give your husband an attractive wife to hang out with. I know what its like to work all week and look forward to spending the weekend in sweats. It's a nice treat. Don't let it be a habit. Give yourself a limit like one day a month. When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good... well, every body's happy. Grab some nail polish and shine up your toes, scrub your face, brush your teeth, and get dressed. Make that your habit. Take some time each week to soak in the tub, relax, and feel pretty. Even if you only have 5 mins; a little bit goes a long way. Now, what about the rest of yourself? Do you need to lose some weight? Start taking a walk everyday and quite drinking pop (soda). I am telling you, those two things can change your life. Just Do It!

Guys. You thought I wasn't going to say anything to you, didn't you? Well I do have something to say. Get rid of your holey underwear. We gals aren't the "visual" types in general but somethings just gotta go. That's all I'm going to say since I don't have a lot of experience in your department. Maybe I'll have my Captain America do a guest post.

There's more.

This one is big.

The most important thing about yourself.

Get yourself together on the inside.

Pray. Every. Single. Day.

I am not talking about "Now I lay me down to sleep" kind of praying either. You know in your heart who you are. If who you are inside isn't good, isn't pretty, isn't even nice, then you know it. Sister I am telling you that who you are and your relationship with God is the number one thing you can change. That change will make the number one difference in your life and your marriage. Be honest with yourself and with God, and ask God to make you beautiful. On the inside. Who you are on the inside is the best gift you can give your husband, your children, and your family, but mostly yourself. If you have your life together and everything looks perfect on the outside but you find yourself talking bad about your friends (or with your friends), being snide and caustic, or holding on to a nasty attitude, then you need to fix it. Close your door, open your bible, and start cleaning up your act.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to Marshmellow Day!

It's Marshmellow Day's 1 year birthday? Happy Birthday to me, ...or you, ...or whatever!

Interesting, isn't it, that my first post was about cake?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Divorce Awareness Month and Your Children

Here's a great song that my little brother introduced me to. His little girls helped him sing it at their church.

Here are some links and lyrics to a couple of really great (maybe a little hokey) songs to make you think.

Broken Pieces, By: Steve and Annie Chapman. I used to listen to it as a child, never knowing that the pain caused by divorce would one day invade and destroy my life. It's a pretty old song and I can't find the lyrics online so I'll write them out for you soon.

Here's another song by the same couple. It's called
Daddy Please Find a Reason

My wife and I used to fight a lot - not anymore
Since the night we found our little boy standing in our door
He over heard me saying “ I can’t find a reason to stay"
But on my way out, I kissed him goodbye that’s when I heard him say

Daddy please find a reason to stay with my mama
We both love you daddy please don’t leave
And if you cant find a reason daddy,
I wouldn’t mind if you want that reason to be me.

Well it must have been the Lord that night
speaking through my child cause I cant begin to tell you
all the good things God has done
His precious love brought healing and I fell in love with my wife
that’s been a long long time ago and our love is still alive
Thank you Lord, Thank you ..

Monday, May 2, 2011

Starstruck? Yes!

My little cold has almost passed. Maybe it was allergies, I just have no idea. Thank God. Today has been clear and yesterday was really good too! What I came here to tell you about is not my cold though.

I had a chance to see Candace Cameron (DJ Tanner from Full House) speak Friday night and to be honest I wasn't expecting great things. I figured she would give us her childhood celebrity story and we would all be in awe of her stardom but SHE was amazing! From head to toe incredible! Take a look at her website, read her testimoy, and watch the interview! Candace is an amazing amazing woman! It was an honor to listen to her speak and to get to know her family through her amazing story.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sniff sniff...

Did I mention I've been fighting a cold?

Well, I have. I have also been out of my cold pills, or rather, they're missing. So all day I have been dealing with the sniffles and trying to ration out my Kleenex because I'm almost out of those too!

Well, I have been rescued. Mom gave me a cold pill. Wow, what a cold pill it was! I am writing to you in a cold pill induced high. I feel drugged. I AM drugged, actually. I just wanted to share that with someone.

Sniff sniff.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What God Has joined Together

I was once dropped off early, by a date for being too nice and agreeable. I'm sure my husband would find that laughable.
Someone else broke up with me just a couple of days after asking me to be his girlfriend because I was nice to his buddies when he took me to meet them. We were driving back towards my house when the guy brought it up. I said "That's fine with with me, I don't want to be in a relationship with someone who is going to suspect foul play at every turn". By they time we got to my house he had changed his tune and was back peddling fast. I said "hit the road". He was probably thinking I had been a little too agreeable, too.
That date-cut-short was 12 years ago and the break-up was at least 10. In my heart and mind it was a lifetime ago but the memories are clear. I could list a few other, longer and more meaningful, relationships that I've been involved in but I won't. What I'm really getting at is no matter how deep the relationship currently is, If you don't intend to marry that person you need to get out because you take things with you when you go. The longer you stay in a relationship the more of that person's life leaves with you.
God was serious when He told us to practice abstinence until we married. no matter how much you wish a past relationship away, a lot of it stays in your heart. When two become one, and are then separated, it is like tearing something down the middle. There are still two pieces but each piece takes a part of the other, the edge is jagged. Don't become one with someone you aren't married to and don't separate what has become one (through marriage).
You can change the quality and environment of your marriage before you even meet your spouse by cautiously choosing who to care for and by acting honorably before God and using wisdom in the days that precede your marriage.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

My church has organized a 10 week women’s bible study on Wednesday mornings that I have been attending with a few gals from my life group. The first day of bible study everyone founds a seat at one of many large round tables. I had planned to save seats for some of my gal pals and so was looking for a table that had enough open spaces for about 4 or 5 of us. I must have looked lost or confused because the pastor’s wife (celebrity moment for me!) stopped and asked if I had someone to sit with. I explained my mission and she spotted a table that looked pretty empty. As I settled in I began to chat with a couple of ladies who were already seated there. I loved them immediately and soon more ladies sat down and we were joined by my friends too! Our table was filled to the max! We took turns introducing ourselves and sharing a little personal information. Through the course of the conversation it was revealed that at least four of the women present had faced infertility or some sort of difficulty getting pregnant. Each one of them spoke to me at some point that first day, telling me that they believed God had planned this meeting, that we were not put at this table by accident, but that they were here for the sole purpose of encouraging me! You see, of the ten or so ladies at our table, I knew three of them on a personal level. Of the remaining six, there were four women who had faced and conquered these problems! One gal adopted, one gal was on her 2nd pregnancy, another had a sweet little girl who was around a year old, and one had given birth to six (6!) children after turning 30! What a huge encouragement that was for me! For one thing, it confirmed in my heart that I want to adopt, no matter what. It also calmed my worries about conception beyond 30. I don’t feel that 30 is too old to have children, but as I near the mark this year I do wonder how many birthing years I have left. As you know I want at least four! I’ve read statistics that talk about how the chances of conceiving lower with each year, and especially after the age of 35, so in my mind it’s time!
We have prayer request cards that we can fill out and hand in, so I do that every few weeks. My prayer is always the same; my husband and I have been married for 4+ years and would love to have children. Please pray that we may have as many blessings as God would shower on us! Well, a few weeks ago, after working late into the night, I planned to take a little nap before bible study and to my disappointment I slept right through it. As sad as I was when I woke up and made the discovery, I have to say I am a teeny tiny bit glad. I have this little issue with shyness (what would you call that?). Come to find out, that day I missed, the sweet wife of our pastor read my prayer card aloud and the whole room prayed for my request. I don’t know how many ladies were there that day, but a few weeks before that, on the first day our studies, there were 300 ladies! So, it’s possible that I had even 200 women all shooting up prayers just for me, my husband, and our babies. I feel totally honored. And a little weepy.
Over the course of the past seven or eight weeks I have been so blessed to have these women in my life on Wednesday mornings! I feel certain that I will treasure these friends for many years. Our table has earned the reputation as the table that stays, and stays, and stays. It seems we just can’t stop talking with one another. Today was no different. Our table leader (the momma of 6) has been telling me about a book called Supernatural Childbirth and brought it to me today. My friend put these practices and scripture into action! This book was written by a woman named Jackie who was told in the 1960’s that she would never be able to have children. That even if she conceived, she would not be able to carry her baby to term. In 1969, before she got married, she told her husband to be about her condition and his reply was “Who said?” Jackie explained to him what her doctors had told her and he said something like; well, that’s not what the bible says. So together they prayed that they could be able to fulfill God’s commandment to be fruitful and multiply. Within a few months she was pregnant but suffered a miscarriage. Together they dug deeper and prayed more. They found scriptures to back up their belief that God would give them children. You gotta read this book because they went on to have FOUR more babies who all were delivered full term and healthy, she even had 9 and 10 pounders! I would love to copy out every bit of their story for you to read but let me just tell you, if you have the desire to have children, even if you don’t have fertility issues, get this book today. You can read in it an hour or two and the back of the book is filled with pages of testimonies from couples who have used scripture and faith to get pregnant and give birth. The book also deals with having calm, God centered, painless deliveries that have wowed doctors and nurses every time.
I know, or know of, so many people who are praying for a baby. I have heard so many stories about women who have dealt with these challenges. Maybe it’s because it’s personal to me so I notice them, or maybe there really are a gazillion couples trying to conceive. Either way, to my wonderful friends who are dealing with some kind of fertility issue; Read. This. Book. To my wonderful friends who hope to one day have children of their own; read this book! It’s all about your faith.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Preparation for Divorce Awareness Month Segment 2: Love Your In-Laws as Yourself

In-laws can bring all sorts of new concepts and ideas to the family dynamic. Things that the family had never considered would be introduced into their homes or lives.

For instance, we know someone who just had a baby and now have decided to spend their holidays at home, not rushing around between grandparent's and great-grandparent's homes for dinner and gifts and gatherings. I'm sure there were a couple of people who weren't so excited about that. What helps though, is that they welcome their families into their own home for the day. So everyone still gets to gather together and celebrate but the new baby doesn't have to carted all about town. I'm sure that mama was the #1 in-law on "the bad list" for a bit. She and her hubby stood up for what they believed was the best decision for their new little girl though, and that's their job.

I know another gal who is not friends with her husband's family. She thinks they're strange and uninterested in her life. To her they seem un-friendly and cold. She can see that they have meaningful relationships with one another, she even feels that they are too close. She just doesn't see that there is anything to build a relationship on for her. My friend has told me that she has tried to involve her in-laws in conversation but they seem unresponsive. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, trying talking to them about something they might be interested in. Ask questions about their life. Don't think they've been sitting around waiting to hear about your decorating plans. I can promise you, they probably don't really care.

When my mom and I were planning my wedding, I was sure that everyone else was dreading the thought of being asked to help out or do something like cut the cake. I am sure I got that vibe from the one person who was feeling that way. Because of that one person though, I didn't involve any of my husband's family. Most specifically his mom. I didn't want her to have to lift a finger. I wanted her to come, relax, and enjoy the day. As it turns out, she very much wanted to be involved in the planning and preparation. She would have loved taking part in the day. I figured that out too late and I regret it. Something that I really loved about our wedding day was that my mom and my mother-in-law, by no plan of my own, ended up cutting the cakes together and had such a wonderful time doing it. It felt so special to me, and to them. So, take into consideration that people want to be wanted, and needed. They want to help and to bless you. By asking for help, or for advice, or opinions from your family, especially your in-laws, you can build relationships that will be full of joy and blessings. Just remember to be genuine. If you really don't care what brand of laundry soap your MIL uses, find something you do care about and target that area. She'll feel special to have been asked and you'll get to hand something down to your children from their grandmother, even if it is something as simple as the scent of her clothes.

Obviously some people get stuck with the crazies. Don't hop on that bandwagon just to get the easy way out. I do know of some nutty in-laws though. So don't kill yourself trying to be the perfect daughter-(or son) in-law for someone who will never accept you anyway. Much too much sleep to be lost there. On the other hand, if you have a bad egg, and even if your spouse agrees with you. Don't spend much time talking or venting or raging to your spouse. Like I said, even if your husband agrees with you, because it can still hurt. You can change the vibe of your relationship by not taking every opportunity that presents itself to bash your husband's family. You could probably discuss it now and then in a level tone of voice, but try to zip your lip for the most part.

So, bottom line, when you're looking at your in-laws like you have no idea how your beloved spouse came from a family like that, realize that they think you're a little different too.

Cleaning Day, really.

I've been working half the night away each night this week so far, last week it was all night each night. I ended up sleeping all day which is fine since I was working all night but I end up feeling like my day is gone and I miss things, like normal business hours.
Today I worked in the garage, getting a bunch of clutter cleared out. The garage tends to be the catch-all for car cleaning. I hate it. It's gross. I always feel gross when I'm out there. Like I have a spider on me...
I also cleaned my bathrooms, dusted the ceiling fans (that makes for a proud mom and mother-in-law, haha), did some laundry, cleaned the clutter piles from the laundry room, and organized the linen closet. So, I've been busy, but I still don't feel like I'm doing anything. I still need to replant my tomatoes that I killed when I moved the seedlings to a bigger pot, same story for the zucchini. The problem is...the new puppy. Yes, the honeymoon is over. Every seed I have planted in the backyard this spring has been dug up. Like, big holes. Lettuce, spinach, potted flowers (okay, I let that happen), and my bird and butterfly mix too. I'm not whining or sad about it, okay I am actually but I'm also perplexed. I have been told blood meal will keep the pets out. I guess I need to get my hands on some of that.
Josh and Bailey will be home this weekend, and next weekend, and the next weekend, I think. We have no plans and no obligations. Except for a baby shower that I just opted out of, sadly. We do have some model airplanes to put together, some new kites to fly, a puppy in the backyard who needs to be loved, and some new Frisbees too! I am so ready for this.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Intervention Needed

I think I have an addiction. It isn’t normal, as in it isn’t recognized as or categorized with other more common addictions. The thing about addictions is that they can be hard to recognize by the person who is addicted. Sometimes it isn’t until problems arise from the behavior that it becomes apparent. Please don’t judge me; I am going to tell you about it.
I have just realized my problem and it was only because of my wonderful and kind sister-in-law that it came to light. It’s Tupperware. Not just the name brand stuff either, if could be Rubbermaid or some other sturdy food storage contraption. Before you roll your eyes (or if you already have) let me underscore the problem by admitting that I once paid $80 for a set of 3 (very nice) metal mixing bowls with non-skid bases, a thumb hook, and pour spout, complete with perfectly fitting rubber lids for storage. They’re very nice.
There. I said it. In my own defense I don’t know what prompted me to put that kind of money into mixing bowls except that I was at a home party and wanted to buy something but only something that I actually needed. For some reason the fact that they were $80 didn’t seem to the time.
It came to a head tonight when I realized I had left my 2 containers of fondant at my SIL’s house and then I realized which containers they were -insert gasp- . I shot off a quick text to let her know what I had done and asked her to please save them for me. I might have also said that I would like them returned to me filled with something delicious (I have no shame). She replied by informing me that I also had one of hers (I have no shame), and then called me grandma. It was that moment that I realized and admitted to having a problem. Send help.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Here's a little treat!

If you like zucchini, that is.

I am a zucchini addict and my husband told me about this concept of making lasagna with zucchini instead of noodles. It's low carb too, if you're into that. I was floored, and in awe, and super inspired! So I made it! We've had it 2 or 3 times now and to tell ya the plain truth, I could eat it everyday. I posted about it over on another blog which I sometimes post on with my momma called Cafe de Sante. The blog gets a little neglected because I feel like everything needs to be posted here!

Here's the link to Zucchini Lasagna!

Make it today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Welcome Baby Liam!

On behalf of my little family, I would like to congratulate my sister-in-law and her husband on their new little boy, Liam (my husband's step-sister by way of his dad)! We are so happy to welcome your precious baby into the family! I hope to get to meet him for Easter!

With all our love,
Uncle Josh, Aunt Amy, and Bailey!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Sweetest Little Thing

Addi is dainty and sweet and loves to wear dresses! She likes church dresses, play dresses, dress-up dresses, princess dresses, long dresses, summer dresses, any dresses! She has a soft little heart and she's smart and kind and graceful. She was born with pretty red hair (her momma says brown) that turned into gold, and pretty pink lips that stayed pretty and pink, she was so tiny and adorable and sure didn't out grow that! When she was a baby Grandma Cheryl said she looked like me (when I was a baby) but as she's gotten to be a big girl she looks so much like her beautiful cousin Emilie. I think of it almost every time I look at her. She fell in love with her Uncle Josh from the moment she laid eyes on him. If he was in the room, forget about holding her. She only had eyes for him (or Mom and Dad).
I love to hear her voice and the things she talks about and to hear her sing. I love the way she says my name, she says the sound of the letter "A" like in Apple and I will never get tired of it. I love to watch her play alone or whisper and giggle with her sister. I love to read her stories and snuggle with her. I love love love her sweetness.
I am so proud of these children that my brother and his beautiful wife have brought into our family.
I am so happy to love you Addisyn. Happy 5th Birthday!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


When I met my darling step-son he was about 2 years old I think. The little stinker mauled my glasses and I had to get a new pair. Then next time I met him he was 5 years old and I hoped I would love him and that he would at least like me a little.
I was meeting him and his dad at my favorite state park and was running late. I hadn't been feeling well but didn't want to miss the fun, so I put the pedal to the metal and zoomed the hour and a half drive to the park.
When I pulled into the parking space beside them, there was this little brown head and these two blue eyes peeking out the window at me. I hopped out of my car and the boys climbed out of theirs and then it hit me. The same thing that EVERYONE says when they meet any combination of my husband, his dad, or Bailey; Oh my gosh you look just like your dad/grandpa/son. I said it. The three of them are almost identical, except that they keep getting better looking. haha.
So once I got over the shock of seeing Josh as a child, we headed down the path and up to a nice big hike. Before we were half way up Bailey and I realized we were in love. We held hands, snuggled up at dinner, and I even got a kiss goodnight. From that very first moment, I have never wanted to let him go.
Happy 11th Birthday Bailey Scott. I'll try not to slobber all over you while you're going through these cool guy years, but I really love you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In Preparation for Divorce Awarness Month (May)

May is Divorce Awareness Month and I want to start talking about family right now.

Family is not something you can opt out of. If you have a family it’s your full-time, lifelong, never-ending job. If you love your family, or hate your family, it doesn’t matter. Nobody gets to chose who they are born to, who their siblings are, or even who their extended family is. You might have gotten stuck with the entire population of Loserville but they are yours forever. Learn to love them, even if you don’t like them. Every person has something nice about them; make it your hobby to find it. Learn to make family events a time that everyone can enjoy without having to hear one another’s opinion about one another.

Someone said once that some things just have to be said, and they believed they were the right person for the job. I disagree. Not everything has to be said, talked about, or hashed out, especially at family events, functions, or holiday gatherings.

In the same way that you didn’t get to choose your family, they also didn’t get to chose you. They might not be thanking God everyday that you are a part of the family. Take a moment to be amazed. Now wipe your eyes and suck in your lip. This holds especially true with in-laws. In-laws are tricky, most of us have them and so most of us are them. You may be madly in love with your spouse but rather out of love with his/her family. That’s okay. You’ll just have to pretend for the rest of your life. I’m not kidding. You are probably not the person your mother-in-law prayed her baby would marry. If you are, then you’re lucky, and so is she. We have many differing opinions about child rearing in my family. I am responsible to discuss my own only with my husband. I don’t get to offer my opinions to my siblings or my husband’s siblings, and neither would I want to be told how to raise my own perfect little darlings. If you are asked for advice, give it gently and cautiously and don’t assume that because they asked for it, your advice will be regarded.
Family is not a choice. Your only choice is what to make of it.

***This is in no way a reflection of or directed at any member my wonderful set of in-laws. I love each and every stinkin' one of you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meet Chloe!

Chloe is a boxer/collie mix and she moved in about 4 days ago. She's settling right in and we're loving' her!

As you can see she like to dig around and get into stuff. It's so cute to watch that I can't seem to stop her...

See what I mean?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy Spring!

Thank God for beautiful weather!
I love the snow, I love the rain, I love the Autumn's falling leaves! Most of all, even more than Fall, I just love the Springtime breeze!
I just made that up. I know.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools!

Wish I had a good one for ya!

Instead, I'll tell you my most recent favorite scripture verse:

1 Cor. 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

So, to not take this out of context, here's the rest (1 Cor. 1:18-25), and then some commentary:
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Here's the commentary. It's by J.P. Holding and I came across it online here.

If you'd be interested in putting in a little more reading on this subject, click here for a link to another blogger's words. It's worth it.

Leave your comment below and tell me about your favorite scripture verse or April Fool's Day trick!

Friday, March 25, 2011

There's an Airplane in My Bathroom

Yes. I said there is an airplane in my bathroom! I also found a shark in my laundry basket and three little men in my bath tub. It's all true and I love Spring Break!

My darling step-son was here last week and I haven't had the heart to kick all the fun stuff outa the bathroom. I'll admit, some of it surprised me. Like the shark.

Oh yeah, I have a cup filled with dinosaurs too.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


There once were two sisters who were pretty as could be. Their Momma and Daddy said they were expecting number three! I figured there would be another sweet little sister who would be a perfect little playmate. Then they told us this one would be different. This was someone who would wear blue, and green. He would play BALL and climb trees! A boy! I just could not imagine what this boy would look like, or act like, or do! Finally, there came the day to meet him. He was so precious and sweet, breathtaking right from the start. As he got a little bigger he seemed to be a snuggle-er, then he learned to smile and the sky burst forth with sunshine. He was so charming! He charmed the world and the world charmed him. He never stops smiling and loving his life, every time he smiles you can see it in his eyes. He's a sweet little brother and he love love loves his mother! He's a perfect little boy who looks just like his father!

Happy 1st Birthday Marshall! I love you to the moon!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Emilie Marie

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful Emilie in the world. You are precious and sweet and everyday I love you more. You were born early in the morning, early enough that I drove to the hospital as the sun rose. It was the most beautiful sunrise I'll ever remember watching. There was so much pink in the sky that I knew it was for you. I heard a song on the radio during that drive. It talked about this baby that was born and changed the world. I knew that was for you too. It's called All Because Two People Fell in Love, by Brad Paisley. My favorite part is this: Baby there ain't nothing not affected When two hearts get connected All that is, will be, or ever was. I'm glad your dad could not resist Your mother's charms, and you exist; All because two people fell in love. So of course your sappy aunt bawled all the way to the hospital, just like I am right now. I love you pretty girl, Happy 10th Birthday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cheesecake Heaven!

That's where I live!

I been making lots of cheesecake! It started last year when my father-in-law turned 50! I made my first cheesecake and I was not impressed. Really, I wasn't. It wasn't a total flop but it seemed too wet, soggy, and kind of eggy. It just wasn't smooth. Then my mom turned 50 and wanted cheesecake for her birthday party, so I tried again. This time I made a few changes. For one thing I didn't use even a speck of flour. I also made sure that my ingredients were room temp and I made sure there was a big pan of hot water below the cheesecake while it baked. I don't know which made the difference, maybe it was all three, but I've had great luck on the most recent 3 or 4 I've made! Except this one (pictured below), it looks great but the center was rather undercooked, Whoops! Some of us ate it anyway. Since then they have all been perfectly textured all throughout.

To make this cheesecake (or cheesecake bites) you need:

4 - 8oz packages of cream cheese
4 - Eggs
1 cup (or 3/4 cup Agave Nectar)
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp crushed graham crackers
Pre-heat your oven to 325*, on the lower rack place a large but shallow pan of hot water. You'll leave the water in the over the entire time your cheesecake is baking. This is supposed to help prevent "The Crack" from happening. Lightly butter around the sides and the bottom of your pan, I use a spring form for a cheesecake but a rectangular cake pan when I make the bites. Once you've buttered, then sprinkle your very fine cumbs around the bottom of the pan and shake it around to even it out. I crush my crackers in the food processor, they become a very nice powder.

Set the cream cheese and eggs out on the counter long enough to reach room temp. I do mine for the morning and make the cheesecake after lunch, I try to give it about 3 or 4 hours. This is a very important step. Don't skip it. I'm not a pre-planner but I have found out that this is key.

Blend sweetener (sugar or agave) into cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and lemon and mix. Add each egg one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each egg. Pour batter around the bottom of the pan and pop it in the oven. I bake mine for about 50 minutes until the cheesecake is almost done, a little wiggle is okay, not a lot. You might have to go with 30 mins for the 9x13 cake pan size, it's much more thin.
This part is important, take the cheesecake out of the oven and run a sharp knife around the edge then put it back in the oven for about another hour at least, longer might even be better. You might have to force yourself to leave it! Just do it! :) If you're making cheesecake bites, at the same time that you run your knife around the edge of the pan, cut your little squares out, cheesecake is super easy to cut while its warm. Resist the urge to have a piece at this point though. Not that great.
Once you decide to take it from the oven you'll need to put it directly into the fridge, uncovered, for a very long time. Overnight is great, a day is better, TWO days is SUPER FANTASTIC. I am telling you. I have a problem with not covering mine. If it feels bad to you too, to keep it uncovered, lay a piece of wax or parchment paper over the pan, don't let it touch your masterpiece.

Agave users: If you're worried about the agave making the batter too thin, you can use less agave and add a tiny tiny bit of stevia. I use the powdered stevia from the NOW brand, and I think I just did one or two little scoops, you can taste it as you mix it in just to be sure. I am a reformed stevia hater and I found out that if I just use a teensy weensy bit, it's pretty good.

Low(er) Carb Alert! If you make a 12 slice cheesecake and you use sugar then your sugar per serving amount is about 4 tsp so when you think about it, that's pretty low for a dessert. If you make cheesecake bites, I think you get nearly 100 pieces (?) so that's a little less than half a tsp in each bite. If you use agave nectar, then it's extra low carb. Agave is a great sweetener for diabetics too!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Coconut Oil

I know I've mentioned the benefits of coconut oil but I'd like to say a little more. Before I tell you much about it let me defer to a couple of websites. They are so full of great information and are much more thorough than I could achieve.

The 1st website I have read is here. It lists the major benefits of eating or using coconut oil.

Another site that I feel has a lot of the same information, as well as some new, is here. You'll need to scroll past the advertisements to get to the good stuff.

Something else that has to do with coconut oil is called "Oil Pulling" or "OP". Here's a link to a site that describes that very well. Read the Introduction, the Instructions, and the Notes, then scroll to about 1/3 of the way down the page to Sandy's Oil Pulling Compilation for a list of oils and their benefits (as associated with oil pulling).

To summarize the information that's listed on the benefits sites I'll tell you this: coconut oil is comprised of Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) as opposed to the Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFA) found in almost every other fat or oil, so our bodies process coconut oil in a way that is much different from almost every other fat or oil. This has many benefits for weight and cholesterol management because our bodies process it as energy rather than fat to be stored.

Coconut oil is also known to be anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, it works as an anti-inflammatory, and is also high in anti-oxidants. This is not to be taken as a cure for anything, but can help your body prevent much sickness and disease.

You can use this oil on your hair, on your skin, and I even use it on my face. You can use it on an owie too, I got on a blister on the back of my heel while mowing the lawn, I put a little chuck on there, covered it with a bandaid and went to bed. The next morning it had healed right up. Never had to feel it again. The spot was still there, but it was pain free! There is no limit to what you can do with this wonder food.

Coconut oil can be used for cooking, obviously. I use only coconut oil (or real butter) when cooking because it has a high heat tolerance and when heated does not become a carcinogen. Other than real butter, all other fats/oils become toxic when heated. When you smoke a cigarette, you are inhaling carcinogens, these are cancerous, and any oil other than coconut oil or real butter has these same properties. I encourage you to use every other kind of healthful oil you can find, and to put it on your food, but do not heat it.

Coconut oil can be eaten in place of butter, with a little added salt (I like Himalayan) it will taste no different. I love butter and have not missed it a bit. I would miss coconut oil everyday if I didn't have it. Just last week two little gals were quite impressed with how delicious an egg becomes when fried up in a little coconut oil and topped with a dash of pink salt!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The World's Best Mom

Happy Birthday to the most incredible mom in the world! Thank you for keeping my plants alive, well my one plant. Thank you for keeping my dreams alive when I don't dare to hope they'll come true. So many of the best ones already have. Thank you for loving me when I don't deserve it, all of us, in that case. :)I love that you inspire me to think of things in ways that I would never on my own. I am so proud of how beautiful you have always been. I have all these snap-shot moments in my mind of how you have gone out of your way to create special memories for us and with us, with such enthusiasm. From little things like nature walks and building snowmen to milestone moments that you add your special touch to, and make them perfect. I love your drive and motivation, how you make a plan and then make it happen. You never say "someday" without following through. I love your cookies and your cooking. I love the way you decorate. I love how clean you keep your car (and my house)! There are all of these kinds of things that I notice and like about you just in an average day and I want to be the kind of mom you are.
Happy birthday, Mom. I love you to the moon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Amos Dawn

I started public high school when I was 13 years old, after home schooling from 1st grade through 8th. I had lots of friends from church that were in my school and so I didn't feel like a stranger, and it helped that my sister and I were going into our freshman year together. There was this girl who was a friend of another girl from church. Her name was Amy, and she was the goofiest, most silly, most OBNOXIOUS person I had ever met! She never took a day seriously and would chase her pals around and goof off ALL THE TIME! I was astounded! I was intrigued. I watched her, a lot because we had every other hour together. Four out of 7 classes I would see this gal act like a nut! She was the funniest girl I had ever met! Soon after that, she asked me to help her with an English project. I was to be a model for her civil war re-enactment women's clothing that she was giving an educational speech about. She lifted my skirts and showed off my slips, she talked about corsets and undergarments, nothing was off limits! I loved the clothes and I loved her! I must have really expressed my interest in her topic because she invited me to join her family as they participated in an actual re-enactment, clothes, cannons, camping, everything! We had a blast! That was sixteen years ago and I have loved every moment of being her friend. The laughter and the tears have all become precious memories that I love to wander through. She is still the same goofy girl I met in English class but she's also a beautiful woman who is so sweet and patient.
Happy Birthday Amy #1, I'll always be your #2!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

She's Perfect

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who married a handsome prince. They loved each other so very much. The prince would write songs for his princess and sing them to her from the mountain tops for everyone to hear. Then one day the princess had some special news for the prince. She told him he was going to be a daddy, and she was going to be a mommy! They were so excited to meet the new little baby, and the day finally came when the baby was born. The princess and the prince were so happy to meet her. Everyone was gathered around the big nursery window, waiting to see her. The prince came to the window and held up the new little princess for everyone to see and he said "She's perfect". And she was.
Happy Birthday Princess!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Truffles For My Valentine

I bought some truffles with a gift card from my favorite store today and they reminded me of a truffle I had a few years ago, which I'll never forget. These were a traditional truffle, there was nothing unique about them but I was inspired to make some and take them to my husband for our Valentine celebration tomorrow (today).

I googled around and picked the first recipe I looked at. The recipe called for Ghirardelli chocolate, I was hooked right then. Also they seemed rather easy and had great reviews at .

For these amazing truffles I needed only 4 ingredients:

1/3 c Heavy cream
1/3 stick of real Unsalted butter
1/2 bag Dark or semi-sweet chocolate
Cocoa Powder
The cocoa powder isn't in this picture because it isn't time yet. It has a very special part to play. I'll tell you about it when your older.

Anyhow, to begin the truffles you need step one.

Step 1: Melt cream and butter together in a small sauce pan, like so:

Step 2: Add to the cream and butter, the chocolate chips, like so:

Step 3: Stir until combined and smooth, like so:

It's smoothing, its getting there.

Step 4: Pour into dish, like so:

Step 5: Allow to cool for a couple of hours in the fridge. I can't show you that part. It's very sacred and can only been seen by the Chocolatier.

Step 6: Use a melon baller or spoon to make the cooled chocolate into ball shapes. I suggest the melon baller and you'll want to remember to twist it, not scrape it like ice-cream. If the chocolate isn't firm enough put it back in the fridge or into the freezer for a few minutes.

Once you have about 24 small balls (from the small end of the melon baller), you'll need your extra special ingredient: the cocoa powder!

Step 7: Scoop out about 1/3 of a cup of this into a very small bowl with a round bottom, not like a ramekin. Because my truffles were rather bitter (due to the 60% Cocoa I used) I opted to add a bit of powdered sugar to the cocoa powder, maybe 2 tablespoons. Blend these together and drop your first truffle ball in, roll it around and get it nice and covered, like so:

Step 8: Grab a dish to serve them in, a treat box give them in, or a lidded container to save them for later in. I made a little treat box for sending them to work with my Valentine, like so:

You can't see the lid, it's clear.
I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day, I know I did, I hope to have an even better Valentine's Day tomorrow!