Monday, December 29, 2008

Marge Simpson

Who knew that Marge Simpson was there at the stable?

On a totally unrelated note: I think I have whiplash. My sweet daughter grabbed my leg yesterday as I was walking past her and I hit the floor. I landed on my knees and one arm causing me some pain in my left shoulder. By the time I went to bed last night my neck was starting to hurt. I thought maybe I was getting sick. I didn't put two and two together until my arm really started hurting today and my neck got worse.

Hopefully it will feel better tomorrow. At least I am not getting sick.

{TWD} Tall and Creamy Cheesecake

Back on track...I hope! :) We were allowed to switch up the weeks this month but I happened to make this and post it on the week it was supposed to be on. That is a feat in and of itself lately! Thank you to Anne from Anne Strawberry for picking out this delicious recipe. Go check out her peppermint bark cheesecake. You can also find the recipe on her site or you can buy the book, Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Next weeks recipe was chosen by the author herself!

My husband is not a fan of cheesecake so I knew if I made this it would have to go somewhere else. Our friends Dana and Jeromy invited us over for Christmas dinner and I knew that would be an opportune time to try it out. This was my very first experience with a water bath and I must say it was much easier than I expected.

I never can just leave well enough alone and have to play around with the recipe a bit. I melted some semisweet and bittersweet chocolate and added it in. Plus I put a layer of Heath toffee bits on top of the graham cracker crust. Oh yeah, and I used cinnamon graham crackers since that is what I had in the house.



I did not have a hair dryer to warm the sides of the pan so it came out a little bit ugly but it tasted good!! Sorry about the lousy pictures. One of these days maybe I will learn to cut and take pictures in the daylight so that they come out better. Tastespotting here I come!
My kiddos LOVED this. That surprised me since my daughter is a lot like my husband in the cheesecake department. But, I let her "be my taster" so she really liked it. She even asked me this morning to leave a slice for her and little brother to share later today. I brought the rest in to work to share the love. So far a couple of people have tasted it and I am getting favorable results. Yeah! :) This was not a difficult recipe and I will definitely make it again!

A Mouse Adventure

Once upon a time two grown-ups said in unison "I SAW IT!!!" A little Munchkin voice said "I saw it too!!!"

The grow-ups jumped off the couch to chase the little mouse they had just seen scurry across the kitchen. The were followed closely by a Munchkin, a Little Man and a giant dog.


The grown-ups checked near the dishwasher but saw no evidence of a mouse. The only thing there was an untouched mouse trap. The mommy grown-up pulled the refrigerator out from the wall while the daddy grown-up stood on a chair (just kidding, but that would funny!).


The terrified mouse ran down into the cold air return and huddled there hoping to disappear from view.


The mommy was dismayed to find not one but 2 little mice in the register. She smacked the register with a Capri Sun box and one of the little mice ran out of the register.
The German Shepherd jumped over the mommy grown-up and caught the mouse in her mouth. The silly dog dropped the mouse, caught it again and dropped it setting it free.


The little mouse that was spotted first had disappeared under the returns filter. The mommy grown-up removed the grate and the filter and wondered where the little mouse could have gone.


All of a sudden the mommy spotted a skinny little tail sticking out of a tiny hole. She instructed the Munchkin to grab the tongs which was done quickly. She pulled the little mouse out of the hole, with the tongs, by the tail and safely deposited it in the Capri Sun box. The daddy grown-up told her to kill it but the mommy had so much compassion for it that they decided to take it to a park and release it. Actually, the mommy was so grossed out by the thought of stomping on a poor little mouse she took it to a neighbors house who suggested releasing it at a park. That way if it died it wouldn't be her fault.


The family climbed into the car to go to church carrying the Capri Sun box with them. On their way they stopped at a local park to release the captive. The children were excited to see the little mouse scurry out of the box and into a tree. They were pretty sure though that it was the mouse the dog had chewed on as it limped away rather than scurrying.


Now....onto the other mouse. Hopefully the grown-ups will be able to find it and dispose of it soon! Stay tuned for pictures from the park.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Party Crashers (Party #5)

Our 5th and final party of the weekend (well if you don't count seeing the Steelers getting stomped at a Steelers fans house) was my work party. It was downtown Nashville at the SunTrust building. The directions were easy enough. Bobby knew just where the building was so we were all set. I was worried about what to wear but Angela let me borrow the beautiful outfit and Jenn let me borrow some beautiful jewelry!

When we got to the SunTrust building there was special event parking. We didn't have cash on us and had planned on using our debit card to pay when we left. The guy taking the money told us we could park and go upstairs to get money from the ATM. When we said we were going to the party he said "Oh!!! Well then your parking is free! Go on in!!" That should have been my first clue since I was pretty sure we were supposed to pay for parking. We got up to the security desk and asked if the party was upstairs. He said yes and to hit P for penthouse on the 13th floor. Another little red flag went off in my head as I was pretty sure the party was supposed to be on the 20th floor.

We rode up in the mirrored elevator and got off to a lovely party. As soon as we walked in I told Bobby I didn't recognize even one person there. Not to mention everyone at this party was dressed in black tie attire. We were greeted by a woman covered in rhinestones who asked us our names. When we told her and asked if this was the party we were supposed to be at she said "Oh, no this is (enter fancy party name here)!" She kind of took me by the elbow and continued to talk to us as she was escorting us toward the elevator. I said maybe we were supposed to be on the other side of the building. To this she replied "Oh, I don't think so, we have the entire floor!" She pushed the elevator button for us and waited until we got on before turning to leave!!!

When we got back downstairs the security guard told us the other SunTrust building on 4th Avenue was 2 blocks up. We could see it from the lobby. He did tell us we could move the car and go park there. Of course since we had free parking there we decided to just take a little walk. It wasn't terribly cold and had stopped raining. Of course when we got to the other building and walked into the lobby we were met by more security guards who informed us our party was next door.

After tromping through the alley with the giant dumpster we finally made it to the building with the Nashville City Club. Bobby likened the sitting room to Denny Cranes private club on Boston Legal. Even after going to 2 wrong buildings we were still about the 5th people at the party.

We had about 5 different people take pictures of us with my camera and every single one of them turned out blurry. Either my camera doesn't like to take pictures in low light or it thinks I REALLY need a soft focus lens....

Bobby and I got some food and sat down at a table in the back. As the new girl no one came to sit with us. We finally moved when my boss and a couple of other people sat down. I almost but not quite worked up my nerve to do Karaoke. There were a couple of people that did really good and one lady who made me think of Cameron Diaz in My Best Friends wedding. Yes, it was that bad. I kind of regret not doing it...maybe next time.

The food was great and we needed the walk back to the car to work it off. Have you ever seen a mashed Potato Martini? I thought that was a very creative way to have a potato bar! It was a little bit loud for getting to know people but it was a fun party anyway. I danced to a couple of songs with some of the other girls but took my leave of the dance floor when they played the Single Ladies song. Cuz, ya know, I'm not single! :) Maybe next time I will read the directions and not get escorted out of a party that we accidentally crashed!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lives Touched

Today was kind of a crazy day at work. There was a temp in so that I could go to a campus wide staff meeting and training. The Directors were supposed to make breakfast for everyone so it was catered and delicious. Mental note: get the recipe for scrambled eggs with fontina cheese and chives.

After all of the training we went up to the Student Resource Center to do a dedication. The woman to which the center was being dedicated had cancer. From what I understood she found out about a year ago and kept on working. The people here set up a desk for her in an easily accessible area and she continued coming to work until she just couldn't do it anymore. Apparently she lost her battle a few months ago and it really took its toll. People here brought meals to her family while she was still sick and continued to be a support to her family after she passed. This was a woman that was well loved.

I do not know what her relationship with God was. Was she a Christian? Meeting her family I think she might have been but I have no idea. I do know that her family that was here today were touched and said that the people in her life had been a blessing. Is that just a southern thing? Looking around the room also you could see how many people this woman's life had touched. One lady said that she had learned so much about life, love, health and pain from this woman. The tears were in everyones eyes.

A few minutes ago a woman came down that had been in the center when everyone came in for the dedication. She was exhausted but when she saw how many lives had been touched just in our little school she was amazed. She had been asking God why He sent her to school today and she really felt like it was because she needed to be there.

You touch peoples lives every day. Are they being encouraged and lifted up. Are you showing Gods love to others or are you just going through the motions. These are questions I have to ask myself. Relationships matter. Touch a life today!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snowmen

Both of my kiddos have Christmas parties at school today and i have the day off! Somehow I managed to get signed up for cupcakes in both of their classes. So wanting to be creative I made these guys. Now, I totally cheated. I was planning on making everything from scratch but I was just too dang tired. So I resorted to running to walmart last night and getting premade cupcakes. I did however put all of the little snowmen together.
This was my first attempt. Yeah, after he fell over 5 seconds after I finished him I decided the rest were only going to have 1 marshmallow. It looks a little like the rest of my snowman army killed him.

At least they are happy about it. Hopefully all the kids will like these! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

{TWD} Buttery Jam Cookies

Once again I am late on the Tuesdays part of Tuesday with Dorie. I have worked several 14 hour shifts over the last few weeks so I am behind on everything. I was planning on baking these last night but ended up staying late again. So, tonight I will be baking these along with cupcakes for both Munchkins and Little Mans school Christmas parties. Stay tuned for pictures! :)

Make sure to check out the blogroll over at the Tuesdays with Dorie sight to see how over 300 other bakers did with these this week.

Friday, December 12, 2008

No snow Day for Me.

Last night at about 9:30 our phone rang. It was our school district informing us of our snow day. Normally this would not be an issue except that I now work full time. Bobby was thrilled though because he can now work from home sometimes. This does not help all the time but for today it works out great. The other issue is.....there is no snow. I take that back, once I got about 2 miles from our house there was a dusting.



Last night right before I left work there was a lot of snow. I work up on a hill and apparently the slight rise in elevation was enough for us to get snow there but not at our house. We are in a weird little pocket anyway. It is always 68 degrees.....always.



So, even though I don't get a snow day, I still kinda got a snow day. I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get everyone ready. I was able to make blueberry muffins, got a shower, did my hair. I get to wear jeans to work on Fridays and I get to see my hubby and kiddos at lunch today.



A couple of other random thoughts for the day:



-White chocolate popcorn is delicious and super easy to make. My incredibly organized sister in law with 6 kids taught me how over Thanksgiving.



-Tomorrow is Bobby and my 11Th anniversary. We are celebrating by taking the kids to the Cheesecake Factory and then going to buy work pant for the two of us. The traditional 11Th anniversary gift is steel. So. we are hoping that the pants we find will be a "steel"! And we are "steeling" ourselves for trying on pants.... We will use stainless "steel" silverware at the Cheesecake factory. :) Silly I know. We went on a big trip last year for our 10Th anniversary so this one is a lot more low key.



-Anyone know where to buy an inexpensive cocktail dress? My work party is next Saturday and I have to wear something "downtown chic". Since my wardrobe for the last 6 years has consisted of a jeans and tshirt I am little behind on the fashion train.

-13 days until Christmas. Yeah....I have a few things ready for family but nothing is shipped yet. I haven't even written our Christmas letter yet. Guess I better get on that huh?

OK, back to work. I have already done attendance, straightening, opening rooms and a few other odds and ends. Now onto making phone calls.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

{TWD} Linzer Sables

OK, so I am totally behind on my baking and posting this month. Blame it on the new job. Bobby found me asleep on the couch last night with the laptop open. I had been editing pictures and apparently it was just too much for me.


At least I was able to get the Linzer Sables baked this weekend. My family LOVED these and this is a tough crowd! Thank you to Noskos of Living the Life for choosing this delicious recipe.

My husband loved it and both of my kids loved it. I made the cookies exactly at the recipe stated. For the filling I did half Nutella and half raspberry jam. Little Man and I partook of the raspberry. Munchkin and daddy the Rock Star had Nutella. This is a recipe that can and will fall easily into my holiday baking rotation. All of my cookie cutters were either too big or too small but the holly leaf worked out perfectly. There was just enough dough left over for one angel to watch over the little farm animals. They rested peacefully in my kiddos tummies.

I am hoping to get to Grandmas sugar cookies and Buttery Jam cookies this weekend. Although it is my 11th anniversary and the Cheesecake Factory is calling my name. :) Please come back and visit next week when I get those next two recipes up!

Whispers

Whispers: Have you heard them? Not the kind that carry malice or hurt. I am talking about the kind of whispers you know are from God.
The link above will take you to LifeChurch to a message by Bill Hybels talking about this very thing.
You might think I am a nut but I have heard God speak to me. It was a nudge, a whisper. On one occasion I listened. I heard pray for a particular friend right now. When I got home I had a message from her on my voicemail. On another I ignored the whisper. There was a bakery that had opened near us and I had finally gone to check it out. There was a closed sign on the door and a woman sitting in her car weeping. I heard "speak to her". But, not wanting to upset her even more I ignored the whisper and drove away. A few days later when we drove by again the front window was boarded up where it looked like a mini van had driven through. I don't know that that is what happened but I also don't know what happened to that woman. I regret not listening to the voice of God in my ear that day.

If you are not a believer you may think that is just you being a good person or a coincidence. I want you to know it is God speaking to your heart. Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit is an amazing thing. I feel like I used to be so much more receptive to listening to Him. Lately I am so caught up in everything falling apart around us it is hard to be quiet and listen. Maybe that is why I am at my new job. It has given me a lot of time to be quiet and listen. I pray that I will hear the whisper when God speaks to me and I will not ignore it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Neglected Blogosphere

Oh my dear neglected blogosphere and my 2 faithful readers. I am sorry for not being a better blogger. Life has overcome us so I have let you slide.
Work is going well. Busy but not difficult.
Little Man loves preschool. No more tears from him.
Munchkin has been extra cuddly. That sometimes means she is getting sick. Of course, maybe she just misses me.... A mommy can hope right?
Bobby is adjusting to the new schedule. I love that he can pick up our kiddos from school and gets to spend the time with them that he didn't get before.
Kelsey is relegated to her kennel during the day so she is super excited to see us in the evenings. She has taken to laying with her bum against the space heater...I wondered where the bald patch back there came from.
Bean is staying where it is warm at all times, mostly the upstairs bathroom.
The mouse hasn't been caught yet...maybe it escaped back outside.
I am hoping to have pictures of my lovely Linzer Sables for you dear readers tomorrow. Of course I am working until 10 tonight so that may not happen. I was also hoping to make Buttery Jam Cookies tonight but that will only happen if I stay up until midnight. I am not sure I am that dedicated.
Good night dear blogosphere, hopefully I will be a better blogger in the near future.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Yeah for Friday

When I think back to my prekid days I remember really looking forward to Friday. Even though I liked my job it was always nice to have that time on the weekends to get things done. Being home with my kiddos for the last 6 and a half years I looked forward to the time that daddy was going to be home on the weekends.

Now that I am back at work full time I am looking forward to the weekends more than ever before. I feel like I want to squish as much into every waking second with my family that I can. There are a million things to do tomorrow from going to see Santa to getting a Christmas tree, cleaning our living room and dining room, setting mouse traps, and purging more stuff. I want our house to be decorated for Christmas but haven't had the time. I want to bake all of my Tuesdays with Dorie stuff for the month so I can post over the next few weeks.

My job is going fine but it is hard to do anything at night when I get home. I see my kiddos for such a short amount and feel like I am missing out on so much. The weekends will be precious time for us. Yeah for Friday!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sickies, Sickies Everywhere

There is a girl at work who is not feeling well. A little girl at pre-k today had thrown up in the corner when we got there. I am sure Munchkin is surrounded. Please be praying that none of us get it!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Erg.

Little Mans drop off was so much better today than yesterday. He was not smiling but was not crying either when I left. Hopefully he will tell me about it later.

I am sitting at work. At 6:30PM. I got here at 8:45. I get off at 10:00PM. Yep, it is a very very long day. But, it is overtime so....Christmas gifts?

Ok, back to work.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

There is a Mouse in my House!!

And no, you have not just stepped into a Dr. Seuss story. There is a little gray mouse in my house and we can't find the dang thing! We think it was hiding under my scrapbook stuff...how it got in we don't know.

Bobby and I are like two of the stooges trying to catch it. We each have a blue plastic bowl to trap it under. He actually almost caught it except that it was half trapped under his bowl. The poor little mouse was squeaking his little lungs out probably seeing his life flash before his eyes....
That would be before I tried to help by putting my bowl down. After smashing our heads together Bobby and I lost the mouse again. It ran under our entertainment center. We moved it out from the wall and saw it again. Bobby swept a giant amount of dog hair out from behind there and we lost the mouse again. The dog is useless and has no idea we are looking for a living creature.
Maybe our cat will catch it tonight...

{TWD}- Linzer Sables

Once again I am a little behind in the Tuesdays with Dorie arena. Sorry Rox, no pretty pictures yet!
I am planning on getting the dough together for these tonight. We were out of town all last week. I did laundry and unpacked from the trip on Sunday. I left the house yesterday at 7:40 am and didn't get home until 10:00 Pm. So, it has been a little crazy.
I will have them posted by Friday at the latest.

On another note. I dropped Little man off for preschool this morning and cried all the way to work. He was bawling when I left. But I am sure he is happy as a clam now. I think he was done crying by the time I left the room. Maybe I should call....

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's a new day

As I sit watching the snow fall from my desk I feel much better than I did yesterday. Munchkin went to school happy today. Little Man and I checked out the preschool for a few minutes this morning so he won't be so overwhelmed tomorrow when I drop him off for real. My friend Dana picked Little Man up from me so they can go play.

I never wrote a "Why I am thankful" post this year because I have been hanging out under a storm cloud. I am feeling a little refreshed today.

Since I am feeling better today I want to reflect on the things I am thankful for. I am thankful for a long, hot shower. Our hot water doesn't last long and you have to run the dishwasher or washing machine first to make sure you get hot water, otherwise it is lukewarm.

I am thankful for a good nights sleep. Even though my kiddos slept with me last night I think I only got elbowed in the face once.

I am thankful for family that loves us and wants to see us. That Bobby and I have great relationships with each of our families. I am thankful that when we got married we saw each others family as our family. They are not just "the in-laws", they are our family.

I am thankful for friends that have gone out of their way to help us out these last couple of weeks. This transition has been hard but having good friends has helped.

I am thankful for Diet Coke. I know...I am an addict.

I am thankful for my husband who was worried about me when I was driving home from Texas. He called me a bunch of times to make sure I was OK and to make sure the kids and the dog weren't driving me crazy. I am thankful that he loves me and thinks to call.

I am thankful for each of my kids, for all they have taught me over the last few years. I am thankful for Munchkins independence. I am thankful for Little Mans sweet spirit. Both are good kids and God has blessed us with them.

I am thankful for a job that is going to help pay the bills. It is a quiet time in the morning that I can reflect and count my blessings.

I am thankful for a God that loves me no matter how crazy I am. He IS and Was and IS to COME.

I have many things to be thankful for. So, even though I have many worries they are not as big as God and the things I have to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Overwhelmed and Broken

It is not just "one of those days". It doesn't feel like a season. It feels like everything is exploding all around me and I can't do enough to dodge the shrapnel.
Of course I am praying though everything but do I not believe enough? Am I not relying solely on God to provide for us? We are trying to teach our kids about Faith and I suppose these are the times when they will see how we handle our Faith.
I know I am partially emotional and tired from a long drive yesterday but I know that is not the only issue. I am also sad about sending Little Man to daycare this week and frustrated about paying over a 1/4th of what I am going to make each month on his care.
Both of our cars have at least fifteen hundred dollars worth of repairs to be done, hopefully they will hold out breaking completely until I make at least a little bit of money. I am tired. I am lost. I am frustrated and overwhelmed.

Is this what it takes to become broken and forced to our knees? Our house didn't sell, we are in debt due to contract work never paying consistently, we owe the government, both of our cars are about to break down. We never stopped praying when times were good. Do we just need to pray harder? I suppose it is all our fault....my fault...for not being faithful with the things God gave us in the first place.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

{TWD} Twofer Pie


Thank you to Vibi from La casserole carree for choosing this lovely Thanksgiving pie. I do not like pumpkin pie or pecan pie so I am not sure how it will taste. I hope that everyone will taste it and like it.
This came together easily and quickly. I left my hand dandy food processor at home so I mixed the pumpkin ingredients by hand. My sister in law sprinkled on the pecans and then we poured on the pecan topping. I will admit I cheated a tiny bit and used a frozen pie crust. There is just too much activity in the house we are at to be in the kitchen long enough to make a pie crust.

The pie took a little extra time to bake but passed the knife test and came out clean. I cut it to take pictures and found it was a little mushy. Hopefully after sitting in the fridge all night chilling it will be good for dessert.

If everyone likes this pie I will definitely make it again!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Funny Little man

Little Man has become quite the conversationalist and entertainer over the last few weeks. Last night topped the cake though. He has always loved to play the guitar so we didn't think too much of it when he brought out the ukulele to play. Of course when he started singing "I am the music in me!!!" at the top of his voice and making various rock star faces Bobby and I started to laugh. We were even more tickled when he held the ukulele out to the side, put his hand on his stomach and took a bow. he then proceeded to walk out of the room while waving to us. Hilarious!!

I can't wait for more of those moments to come.

Work, Work, Work

That is all I have to talk about this week. So far so good. I am sure there is a lot more to learn than I already have but it was a weird week to start. People are out and transferred so i am just learning as I go. I have also read 3/4 of a Dean Koontz novel.

I am thinking about joining another weekly cooking club called Craving Ellie in my Belly...we'll see. I need to get the cookbook if I am going to join..hint hint.

For you full time working mamas out there, how do you make time for all of the other stuff at home? Cooking, Laundry, Cleaning, etc.... Yeah, that has kind of gone by the wayside this week. We have gotten up at 6 every morning, bathed, dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast eaten and lunches made. We have made it almost everyday to where we are supposed to be on time. I don't get home until 6:30 at night. Bobby is getting home in time to pick the kiddos up from school but has had to run them places so they don't get to eat. Bedtime is at 8.......30ish so I get to see my kids for and hour and a half for the entire day. By then I am beat and just want to go to bed.
How do you balance every thing?

Christmas is coming!! Can you feel the excitement in the air? No? Not yet? I think we will be breaking out the Christmas CDs over the next couple of weeks. I know, I know, there are some of you out there that pulled them out the day after Halloween. I just can't do it that early.
In that vein, what is your favorite Christmas song?
Alrighty then, back to work. Hope you are all having a great day in cyberland!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

Here I am on day 3.5 of my new job. Not a bad gig so far. The hardest things for me has been leaving my little guy all day long. The transition to Kindergarten was hard for me with my Munchkin but 1st grade has been a breeze. It helps that she loves it.

Little man is hanging out with a good friend of mine this week and he is doing fantastic. She even took him to school with her yesterday to help out so he got to have lunch with Munchkin. I was happy about that.

Next week is Thanksgiving break. That will all be good family time for us and then Little Man will start preschool the following week. That I am not looking forward to. I think he will love it after a few days but those first few days are going to be hard on me. When we checked it out one of his favorite things was the little kitchen. He misses ours so he immediately started trying to cook when he saw it.

I didn't cry after dropping Little man off this morning so I guess that is a step in the right direction. 2 more days to the weekend and an entire week of hanging out with both of my sweet kiddos and my sweet hubby!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

{TWD} Rice Pudding? Nope Snickery Squares

There are few things that do not pass my lips. Cottage Cheese, flan and mushrooms are on that list as well as rice pudding. I don't care how much chocolate goes in it, I just couldn't do it.

The recipe that drew me to Tuesdays with Dorie was the Snickery Squares. While using Stumbleupon I came across the recipe for it and had to try it. Well, I burned out the motor on my blender trying to make them and had to wait until I could get a food processor. Then I had to try and find Dulce de Leche. I finally found some at Walmart in the Mexican food section.

I have tons of pictures but of course don't actually have them here so they will have to be posted later. One of my favorite parts of making these was making the sugared peanuts that go in them. I think I should have used more of them in the recipe except Bobby and I ate half of them before they could get into the pan. He was under the impression I made those extra so when he came and got a bowl to grab a bunch more I had to slap his hand! :)

I will definitely make these again. I used semisweet chocolate though and will probably use dark the next time.

If you haven't tried these, they are a must!!
Sorry about not doing rice pudding this week, I just couldn't do it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What kind of Cupcake are you?

Gretchen at Canela and Comino posted this on her site and couldn't resist. You know I love a good cupcake. I don't know about my quiz results. You can read them and see if you agree.... :)
The Dozen Cupcakes Quiz
Dark Chocolate Cupcake "dark chocolate cake made with east end brewing co.'s black strap stout, covered with dark chocolate ganache and topped with irish cream buttercream"

You are dark and sensuous, mysterious and decadent. You appreciate the finer things in life and you have expensive taste. With a sharp, sometimes deceptive wit, you manipulate the world around you to suit your taste, but never let anyone see the power you wield.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Party

Day one of the job went without a hitch. I felt a little invisible for a while but I think people thought I was a temp. It was a weird day to start as it was University of Phoenix's very first ever Homecoming. My new boss had been painting and running around all day and the girl I am replacing was chomping at the bit to leave.

After completing paperwork so I can have access to all of the fun computer systems I was left to fend for myself. Fridays, I am told, are typically really slow as there are no classes on campus that day. I answered the phone about 4 times and had 2 people walk in. Within twenty minutes of sitting at the desk I had familiarized myself with the phone list and who does what in which department. I had also gone through every cabinet, and had changed the ink cartridge in the laser jet printer.

A few people came by to say hello and to tell me what they do. Everyone seems nice. Interesting though how you can read people sometimes....first impressions are important. I did meet one guy who worked with a guy in Chicago that I had worked with in California. Weird!

When a couple of girls brought balloons to my desk I thanked them for having such a nice party for my first day. They laughed and said they were good like that.

The Alumni event was taking place on the fifth floor. I took the glass elevator up and enjoyed rosemary and lemon chicken skewers, meatballs, fruit and brucestta. There was an open bar but I stuck to trusty Sparkling Apple Cider. Martinellis is my favorite!

After hearing a State Senator and the Vice President of the school speak I left and went to LifeGroup.
I think my transition into the job will not be difficult. The difficult transition will be putting Little Man in preschool.

Not a bad first day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slight Freak Out in Action

We have been struggling for some time with our finances. Part of it has to do with refinancing our house and being young and stupid about it. We trusted a guy who got fired from his job for lying to his clients. We pay all of out health insurance, dental insurance and life insurance out of pocket. We have cut our cable and our home phone. Part of our problem stems from being self employed over the last few years. When you get paid $400 one month it is a little difficult to pull out the money for taxes the next month when you are playing catch up.

I have been home with our kiddos since Munchkin was born. In that time I have taught flute lessons and have sold Pampered Chef to make a little extra money. When I sold Pampered Chef I made just enough to bump us into the next tax bracket so it made it worse for us instead of better. I have felt blessed to stay home with my kids even though finances were tight. Well, when our house didn't sell it seemed like the time to start looking for a job. I know the economy is in the tank right now and people are losing their jobs left and right.

I got offered a job yesterday. I was given until the end of today to decide. I start on Friday. I have serious trust issues with people taking care of my children. I volunteer at Munchkins school and Little Man gets to go to My Gym once a week. I have to suck it up and start trusting that God is going to provide people to take care of my kids that will love them like I do. I am going to miss volunteering and being able to go to lunch every week. I am going to miss taking Little Man to My Gym. But, we need the money.

Little Man says he wants to go to school. I guess we'll see after his first week in daycare what he thinks. Please pray that this is the right decision for our family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

{TWD} Kugelhopf

Kugel-what??? Last week Rugelach this week Kugelhopf. I think I need a dictionary! :)
I have a lot of friends that are all about purging and getting rid of "Stuff". In April we were working on getting our house ready to put on the market and were trying to purge our outdated, unused items. I had these things in my utensil drawer I had never used before and had no clue what to use them for. So, like any good purger I got rid of them with a bunch of other utensils I have never used before. Turns out those corkscrew looking things I had never used before were the dough hooks for my Sunbeam mixer. In April I wasn't baking...at all. I take that back, I was baking as long as it came out of a box and took very little preparation.

Yesterday I read the recipe for Kugelhopf (spellcheck wants to put in Bellhop instead of Kugelhopf right here) and saw the part where you are supposed to use a dough hook. I got on my trusty Google to find out exactly what a dough hook is. Yeah...I was pretty ticked that I got rid of my dough hooks. That hurts for a packrat that holds onto everything "just in case".

The recipe did say you could do this with a wooden spoon as well so I was only worried about how much my arm was going to to hurt from mixing with a wooden spoon.

The process was long but worthwhile. I used chocolate chips instead of raisins since my family is anti-raisin. Once I got everything mixed I set it out on top of my stove to double in size. It didn't seem to double and it was really sticky. Once it was in the fridge though it started to rise and finally after sitting on the top of the stove again for 3 hours it was ready to bake.

I am not sure it rose as much as it was supposed to and my "unmolding process" took a turn for the worse. It completely broke apart when I was trying to get it out of the pan. Before it was even cool my kids were at my side asking for a piece. Munchkin's first question was "It doesn't have any fruit in it right?". I told her it didn't and before I could even get a piece for me she was back for a second piece. Little Man downed his piece quickly. Bobby had some when he got home and texted me a "yummy" message. So this was a hit in our house but it was really time consuming. A great recipe for a day when you don't have much going on.

Thanks to Landa of The All Purpose Girl for the recipe selection this week. You should be able to find the entire recipe on her site. Make sure to check out Tuesdays with Dorie to see how over 300 other bakers fared.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Tennessee Fall

I love fall in Tennessee. I love the colors and the crisp air. And, I have been loving that it is not terribly cold yet. Our neighbors tree looks like it is on fire right now and I love it. In a few weeks that tree will be totally naked. Every year this beautiful tree turns bright yellow and overnight every leaf is on the ground. It makes great piles of leaves for jumping in and playing leaf monster.
Up the street from up there is a sugar maple that is on its way to a beautiful red. Our silver maple is starting to turn yellow. All through our neighborhood fall is making itself known with amazing technicolor.


Every year about this time I think about a book I had when I was a little girl. It was called "The Fall of Freddy the Leaf". I think it may have been a book about death but I remember it being all about the life cycle of Freddy. Now that I think about it I think I will see if I can find it for my kids.

I love fall. I am ready for hot chocolate and gloves.
Do you like fall as much as I do?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Surprise!

A few weeks ago Munchkin brought home a paper describing her sunflower that she had planted. The pictures she had drawn were details of beginning, middle and end. She fully expected to have a sunflower when her little plant bloomed. Well, she brought home her little seedling and Bobby and I both had passing thoughts that the leaves didn't look quite right for a sunflower. The seed taped to the outside of the cup was right so we didn't really question it until the leaves started to wind their way up the window. Hm....kind of like a bean plant....weird.

The plant started to flower and our thoughts were confirmed when peas started sprouting from Munchkins "sunflower".


Munchkin had lovingly watered her plant and made sure it was in the sun. So, when we told her we didn't think it was a sunflower she was furious! She said "PEAS CANNOT GROW FROM A SUNFLOWER SEED!!!!!"


We explained that the seed probably got mixed up after they were planted and she insisted that they couldn't have. Well apparently they did as we now have peas growing on our kitchen windowsill. Maybe we should try to grow more things accidentally, then I won't kill them.


It took Munchkin a few days to get used to the idea that she had peas instead of a beautiful sunflower but now she is quite proud of her surprise peas.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Writing

Writing 50,000 words is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I am up to 758 words so far. Yeah, I am supposed to be at 8,888 words so far. Bummer. Maybe I will make it, maybe not. But at least I am trying. If you want to sign up go here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

I voted, did you? I am not a fan of politics. It makes people crazy! I am not a huge fan of either candidate but chose the one I did with a lot of thought and a lot of prayer. I am one of those swing voters out there that could have gone either way. I come from a line of Republicans but I resonate deeply with some of the Democrats arguments. I believe people should have the right to health care...we are paying around $600 a month out of pocket for health insurance and it is practically bankrupting us. But, we choose to get it. It would be nice if it was provided but I also don't want to die waiting for a surgery. I agreed more with the Republicans than the Democrats so that is the way my vote fell.
I hate discussing politics as there are so many more smart well spoken people you can talk to about it. Half the time I feel like I have no right to an opinion because I will be blasted by certain people that think they have it all figured out. But, it is my right to vote and I did that today. I thank God for the country I live in that I actually get to vote for the next President of the United States. Will it make a difference? I guess we will see tonight!

{TWD} Rugelach


Yum, Yum, Yum! I loved this recipe this week! The procrastinator in me waited until yesterday to actually make it so I was baking at 10:30 last night. Thanks goes out to Piggy from Piggys Cooking Journal for choosing this weeks recipe. You can find the recipe at her site.

My daughter wanted me to have lunch with her yesterday so I took the time after meeting her to head out and pick up ingredients for the Rugelach. Of course, when I got home I realized I didn't have the cream cheese for the pastry. So, after picking her up from school, we went to ANOTHER store to get cream cheese.

I made the dough in my brand spanking new Food Processor! I was amazed at its efficiency! You know, when the motor doesn't burn out like my blender did when trying to make snickery squares, it is going to be a good day!

My next item to purchase is going to have to be a rolling pin. Nope, I don't have one. I have a roller thingy from Pampered Chef, but it is just not the same.

My dough balls rolled out OK but they seemed really thin and then I PILED on the jam, nuts, cranberries, and chocolate. I love me some chocolate and raspberry so for me I knew this would be a winning combination.

Yep, that would be red decorating sugar as ANOTHER trip to the store was not in the cards last night. Jay Leno and the sloth on his show got our full attention as my hubby and I waited impatiently for the Rugelach cooled.

The verdict:
I thought these were delicious. I thought about cutting them into 8 triangles instead of 16 to make them bigger but the little portion is just right. Like I said I love raspberry and chocolate together so it was a delicious dessert for me.

Bobby: Thought they were OK but is not a fan of cooked fruit. He said he would like it better with just chocolate and nuts...so next time I think I will be trying it with nutella and toffee.

Little Man: Ate it up this morning with out any complaint. That one though loves anything sweet.

Munchkin: Made a face and said she did not like it. She doesn't like nuts or cooked fruit.

So, I will make it again with Nutella and see if Munchkin and her daddy like it better then!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Post # 700!!!


Well folkie polkies! This is my 700th post! Crazy I know. What am I doing to celebrate 700 posts you ask? Thanks for asking! I am going to write a novel! I guess that won't be in my post but that is what I am doing this month. My sister wrote a novel last year with Nanowrimo and I decided I should do it this year. It may end up being lame but at least I am doing it. I have written 444 words so far with a goal of 50,000 by the end of the month. Think I can do it? Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Politics with a 6 year old

On our way home from school today Munchkin recited her po-em that she has to recite next week in front of her class. It is about voting and has the word candidate in it. This is our following conversation:

Mommy: Do you know what a candidate is?
Munchkin: Someone you vote for.
Mommy: Did you know there is an election next week?
Munchkin: Yep
Mommy: What are we voting for in the next election?
Munchkin: The President of the United States!
Mommy: Do you know who the candidates are?
Munchkin: McCain and Obama.
Mommy: Who do you think we should vote for?
Munchkin: McCain.
Mommy: Why do you think that?
Munchkin: It just sounds better in my mouth.

We have not talked politics too much in front of the kiddos so it surprised me when she said McCain. But, it made me laugh when she gave her reason. Typical 6 year old thinking? Or the wisdom of a child?

{TWD} Creepy Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes Part Deux

Finally! They are done. I have spent the day moving boxes from my living room to the office. When we took our house off the market last month we decided to close our storage locker at the same time. It wasn't worth the money we were putting into it to keep it. So a 10x10 storage locker was emptied into our living room. Granted the storage locker was not full but there was enough to really stress me out! Now my office can stress me out....

What fixes stress better than a little chocolate though, right? I am pretty excited to try these tonight with my Bunco group. I am pretty good at usually choosing a new recipe when having people over for dinner and they usually turn out...OK. But, you can't go wrong with baked goods...I don't think....

This weeks recipe was brought to you by Clara at I heart Food 4 Thought. You can find the entire recipe on her site so go check it out. She also has an entire site dedicated to cupcakes so if you are a cupcake aficionado make sure to check that one out as well!

If you still want to join you have only a couple of days left to sign up. All you need is the book, a blog and to ask! In the meantime go check out how over 275 other bakers did on these!

Monday, October 27, 2008

{TWD} Creepy Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes

Ok ok! I am the lamest ever!! I usually get my recipes done before Tuesday so I can actually post on Tuesday. Well, I am having Costume Party Bunco at my house today so I am making them for the party! Please come back tonight so you can see pictures of my creepy cupcakes!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reading Transition

It is amazing to me how fast a transition can come on. When Munchkin was reading the Magic Treehouse books (she has about 4 left in the series) she would read them out loud. She would bring them with her everywhere and there was a constant stream of Munchkin from the backseat. It wasn't annoying like asking every ten seconds when we will be there is. It wasn't being mean to Little Man. It was nice to hear her sounding out new words and really hearing the flow of her reading.
She brought a book in the car the other day that is a little bit higher level. I think it is a 4th grade book. The library has a sticker system that says what kind of books you can check out and I think I remember seeing blue as 4th grade. Anyway. I realized she was silent. There was no sound. I looked back and she was into the book. I think it is quite a bit more difficult than the Magic Treehouse books. But, she is reading to herself! It happened so fast it took me by surprise. I had gotten used to hearing that sweet voice reading and reading and reading. Now I have to ask how the book is.

I did read the book she is reading first to make sure it was OK. She is having a little trouble with some words but shows them to me and we sound them out together. One was Vietnam.
It makes me a little sad that she is transitioning in her reading so fast. But, I am so proud of her at the same time. It makes me treasure the moments she still lets me read to her even more.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Conversations of Faith

The last few days Bobby and I have both been talking to Munchkin about faith and accepting Christ. She has had tons of questions about faith, and baptism and angels. So, it has been challenging and wonderful all at the same time. More than anything else in this life I want our children to know Christ and to want to walk in His ways. But, I also want it to be their faith and not just because they were born into a Christian family. I don't want their faith to be regulated by just being in church Sunday morning or for it to be because the south is a church culture.

I hope and pray that our kiddos see us living our faith every day and in everything we do. I pray that they will be solid strong Christians that want to change the world for Christ. I want them to have compassion and empathy for others.

The other day my heart leapt for joy when Munchkin said "I have chosen! I love God!" I know she does. She loves to be at church, she loves musical worship, she loves the Bible verses she is learning and she love Konnect. Prayers are a little difficult but some of the things she comes up with give a glimpse into what a prayer warrior she could be someday. She often prays for those who are struggling that they wouldn't have to struggle anymore.

I know her little heart is pure but is it my own insecurity that I want her to say the magic words/the sinners prayer? I pray that Bobby and I are the ones that get to lead her and Little Man to Christ. I pray that he and I will both get to be there when they make that decision.

Munchkin is asking all kinds of questions about baptism. She wants to know how old the kids were at church that got bap-ti-tized. I said probably 7,8, or 9. She insisted that some of them were probably 6! Maybe. I told her that her daddy and I were both 10 when we were baptized. I also explained that it is a symbol to show others that you have asked Jesus into your heart. She seems to get it. I don't want to push her. I know Bobby doesn't either. So, I guess we pray, we wait and let each of our kids keep exploring until they are ready to make their decisions. Until then the lines of communication will stay open and I pray we will have many more conversations of Faith.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

{TWD} Pumpkin Muffins

I will start out my saying I am no fan of pumpkin anything. I don't like pumpkin pie but I had never tried pumpkin muffins before. I think it may be a texture thing with the pie though as these were absolutely delicious! I am also not a fan of nuts in anything but a Snickers bar. Again...texture. I think it messes up fudge, cookies and brownies. Why mess with chocolate perfection? I was not terrible excited to make these muffins as I did not think I was going to like them. I was also not sure my kids would like them. I did think Bobby would like them though so I soldiered on and made them.

It think it helped that everyones status updates on Facebook the day I made these had something to do with baking Pumpkin something.

Since I don't like nuts I decided to make half a batch with chocolate chips and the other half with walnuts. Oh yeah, the recipes called for golden raisins too. Since Little Man is the only raisin eater in the house I left them out. I figured he wouldn't miss them and if I put them in I would be stuck with 6 muffins with raisins.









Here are my two batter halves. Little Man surprised me by asking for a beater. He took a few licks and handed it back. The boy is not a batter eater.











This right here kind of made me want to gag. The words congealed and coagulated also make me a little urpy..... the pumpkin is what made me think them. Although, it was just the indentations. The pumpkin smelled good and came out of the can quite nicely. I have half a can left to make another batch of muffins with.







These smelled delicious when they were baking and my Little Guy kept coming in and asking when they would be done. Finally the time came to test them. They were a hit...with everyone in our house! I liked these a lot..well the chocolate chip ones anyway! Little Man ate both kinds without a word of complaint. My daughter is like me with the nuts. She only tried the chocolate chip ones but her comment was "Mommy! These are better than cake!!!"
My husband also liked these a lot. He really likes nuts in his baked goods so i guess I should make some with them a little more often for his sake.
So, this was a good one that will be making its way into our regular fall cookbook!

For the recipe you can check out Sounding my Barbaric Gulp by Kelly or you can purchase the book Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Thanks Kelly for picking such a delicious recipe!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Simple Womans Daybook

I found this site through A Year at Oak Cottage, which I found through Tuesdays with Dorie. I think it is a lovely way to start off the week and will be posting this on Mondays.

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .




FOR TODAY, OCTOBER 20, 2008 ...

Outside My Window...
The weather is beautiful. The leaves are just starting to change and a frost warning was sent out for the day. No frost but a nip in the air. Just enough to break out the sweaters and make cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

I am thinking...
about my friend Beth today. She is moving soon and I am hoping she will make it to My Gym this morning for our make up class. That reminds me...I need to text her!

I am thankful for...
My sweet husband who got up this morning and bathed the kiddos so I could get a few things done downstairs. I am so thankful for the hard work he puts in every day at his job to provide for us.

From the kitchen...
Soon there will be the delicious scent of chicken, potatoes and carrots coming from the crock pot. In the meantime I can still smell the cinnamon rolls I made for breakfast.

I am wearing...
Jeans and a t-shirts and a gray hoodie. Normally I would be in flip flops but the weather has just gotten cold enough that I have had to start wearing shoes. I have on my black Target One Star Converse tennies. This is my standard uniform.

I am creating...
Scrapbook layouts in my head and storage solutions for all of our stuff.

I am going...
all day long today. I am editing pictures this morning, heading to My Gym for a make-up class, will walk this afternoon, take Munchkin to dance class this evening and maybe get home in time for Heroes.

I am reading...
If I get to read today I will be reading Readers Digest. It is sitting here next to the computer. I may have too much on my plate for that today though. I did just read the entire Twilight Series though.

I am hoping...
I can fit everything in I need to do today including laundry, and unpacking at least a couple of boxes.

I am hearing...
Super Why from the living room and the dog just being loud.

Around the house...
There are still boxes and boxes and boxes piled in my living room. I am trying to go through them to put away, give away, throw away. It is difficult though as I am quite sentimental about my "stuff". I know I shouldn't be but when you are not near family I find it nice to have the reminders of them around.

One of my favorite things...
Is hot chocolate when it just starts to get cold outside.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Pediatric ophthalmologist appointment for my Little Man, volunteering at school and unpacking more boxes. Watching the Big Kahuna one day and making sure Munchkin gets her homework done. Finding another book to read and of course Thursday night TV. Making the rest of Little Mans costume, finding one for Munchkin. There is a lot on our plate this week.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
This is kind of an older picture. I can tell by the hair. This was before she was swimming every week. The chlorine was really bad for all of this beautiful hair and then we cut it off. She has always loved books and reading. I guess that is why she is 6 and already reading 4th grade books.








Check out the Simple Woman to read more posts like this one.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Capture Music City books are in

And I have mixed feeling about it. I am a little bummed that I ordered it early. It is a nice book with great pictures in it. But....I don't have any pictures in it. My one picture of Bobby and Little Man playing guitar on the swing is on the DVD but that is my only picture that made it. My name and blog address are in the index but it is still not one of my pictures in the book. I ran down to pick it up at Davis Kidd tonight while Bobby went to a birthday party with the kiddos. I despise Green Hills. There is a lot of money there but there is also a ton of traffic there. We drove down there every week when Little Man was in therapy and I was so glad we went at ten in the morning when there was little traffic. Friday night at the Green Hills mall is a horrible horrible time! I was already late due to traffic when I had to drive around the entire parking lot for 10 minutes looking for a parking spot. Did I mention Davis Kidd is right next door to the Cheesecake Factory and is in the same parking lot as the movie theater?

Once I got through the door I couldn't find the books. I made my way downstairs and discovered the other 218 photographers sharing stories about how wonderful it was that their photos were in the book. I missed the part where they highlighted the award winners. I was told later that every one of them are long time professional photographers. After flipping through the book really quickly to see if any of my photos were in there I sat down to get a better look. Another photographer was in the room with me and was livid. I could see it on her face. When I left she was talking to the people from the Tennessean and informing them that it was a political process and that it wasn't right that you had to buy the book without finding out if your pictures were in it ahead of time. I think something that might have helped would have been having a DVD player set up with the other photos displayed. Maybe that would have helped....or maybe not.

I did meet a couple of really nice people and the book is very nice. But, I am just disappointed that my photos didn't make the cut for the book. Of course, I am not alone....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

{TWD} Lenox Almond Biscotti

One of the coolest things about joining Tuesdays with Dorie has been seeing people baking together from all over the world. This weeks recipe was chosen by Gretchen of Canela and Comino from Peru.
I will start out by saying that my husband LOVED this recipe. He likes almonds so it was almost a no brainer that it would go over well at our house. My little Munchkin also loved it. She commandeered a beater as soon as I was done mixing the batter.

It started out looking like these two little logs. I should have listened to the advice given on the Q & A on the Tuesdays with Dorie Site. I know my oven cooks slow AND I know that things take longer on my stones.
The logs spread waaaaay out and didn't look done but I thought they would bake a little more on the stone. I was wrong.



After mutilating the dough....yes it was still doughy there was no way each of my tasty little biscottis were going to stand up like soldiers to bake and dry out more. I tried. They had to stay down flat to bake again. So, they really ended up being more like an almond cookie than regular biscotti. I didn't really mind though. Regular biscotti kind of hurts the roof of my mouth when I try to eat it. You may be asking why I don't dunk it in my coffee to soften it up. Well, I don't drink coffee and dunking it in Diet Coke is just not the same.
I will definitely make this again and maybe try some of the playing around items with it. And, of course, I will bake it twice as long.
I think I heard some people put in white chocolate chips and cranberries. That right there says fall to me! Yum!

Bobby had a couple biscotti with ice cream and really enjoyed it.


I love finding new recipes that are not difficult to make, that my entire family enjoys.

If you want to join TWD you need to sigh up before the 31st of this month. There are so many bakers that the time has come to limit the number of people signing up. Check it out here if it is something you want to do!