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.